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Worn Stories: Material and Memory in Bradford 1880-2015

The Worn Stories project has now ended. The project was devised to look at the history of textile repurposing and recycling in the city at a time when there was much debate about the textile and clothing industry and its sustainability. Bradford today has many businesses concerned with recycling and repurposing textiles. The communities that live here also have much to offer in terms of personal experience and skills that can be shared. The project offered volunteers and participants the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and learning. These included training in research skills and oral history interviewing. In community settings around the city creative textile workshops explored traditional textile recycling and reuse techniques. The project also offered opportunities for personal reminiscing and sharing about the value of textiles, their use and disposal, in our everyday lives. An exhibition of community-made textiles, interpretation of our research, photographs and archive objects was shown at Bradford Industrial Museum between November 2018 and March 2019 (see here for another chance to see the exhibition) where a symposium about the themes was delivered. Celebration events took place for the communities involved.

“Worn Stories” is a two year project that will explore the heritage of textile reuse and second hand textiles in Bradford from 1880-2015, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project links past and present, identifying, interpreting and recording personal and community memories of arrival and belonging through stories of cloth.

The project includes:

If you would like to find out more please ask Claire or Carolyn for more information or contact us by email or take a look at our project blog:

[email protected]

[email protected]

Many of our projects are delivered out in the community with the aims of improving wellbeing through creative activities.

Our past projects have included:

"Hive offers a vitally important service in the community whereby anyone of any ability can attempt to learn new crafts, explore the arts and be creative in an encouraging environment"

"Hive is very supportive and flexible, there is a drop in service as well  as tutor-run courses and user led events. It is a very supportive community; there are opportunities to be involved in all sorts of ways"