From catwalks to quilts – Woven 2023

Fabric flowers outside

WOVEN is back for 2023 with 100 exciting and diverse events celebrating textiles in Kirklees.

WOVEN happens every 2 years, and this year will take place between 3 June to 9 July 2023.

The theme of this year’s programme is sustainability – with a special focus on creatively reducing waste and environmental impact.

This year’s festival launches on 3 June with STRUT, a fun free one-day event taking place outside Dewsbury Town Hall.  Groups, students and community members will strut their stuff on a community catwalk. They will get to celebrate their individuality by wearing their own handmade designs, embellishments and accessories. This event, hosted by BBC Radio Leeds’ Rima Ahmed, will be a mix of fashion, music, and fun, and will feature a music stage presented by Kirklees Year of Music, a pop-up skate park, as well as textile crafting opportunities.

What else is happening during WOVEN

Additional programme highlights include:

Quilted: Community, Creativity and Care
10 June – 8 July, Huddersfield Art Gallery

A free exhibition exploring the powerful art of community quilt making. Highlights include the Threads of Survival quilts made during the COVID pandemic and quilts stitched by individuals and communities in Kirklees. You will also be able to have a go yourself at special workshops.

Mission to Mend – Repairing roadshow
Various Dates and locations

Mission to Mend will travel to a variety of locations across Kirklees. Learn how you can be more sustainable with your garments. And, how to repair instead of replacing in the future. These free roadshow events bring together the best local textile talent for talks, demonstrations, workshops and more. Mission to Mend has been funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund as part of Sing and Sew by WOVEN and Artichoke.

Roadshow dates:

  • 11 June, Meltham Church Hall
  • 25 June, Golcar Scout and Community Centre
  • 1 July, Holmfirth (venue TBC)
  • 16 June, Calderdale & Kirklees Recovery and Wellness College, Mirfield
  • 17 June, Heckmondwicke (venue TBC)

Growing Colour Together
Various Dates and locations

Growing Colour Together aims to tun Kirklees into the UK’s largest ever dye garden. Artists have been working with communities to learn more about the dying process and growing plants that create the colours we see in textiles. There are more opportunities to get involved:

3 June: Eco-printing workshop and open gardens, Kirkwood Hospice (FREE)

Learn how to transfer colour from flowers and leaves onto fabrics and offer an opportunity to explore and enjoy the beautiful Kirkwood gardens.

6 June: Birkby & Fartown Celebration Garden Party (FREE)

Join us for an afternoon in the Growing Colour Together garden, honouring the deep roots of textile heritage and local growing spaces in the area.

17 June: Roving Lands, Crow Nest Park Wildflower Garden, Dewsbury (FREE)

A collaborative textile installation made up of over one hundred individually-designed textile pieces that represent personal journeys through natural spaces, taking over  for one day only.

24 June: Foraging walk for Natural Dyes, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary Academy

Join local textile artist Kayleigh Davis on a foraging walk for natural dye plants. Meet at 10am at the grassy area with a gate next to St Patrick’s Catholic Primary Academy on George Avenue and explore nature together.

8 July: Textiles Futures, University of Huddersfield

Closing the festival and looking forward is Textile Futures. Ideal for young people interested in a textiles career. The event features a series of talks, workshops and meet and greets. It will explore the latest innovations and trends in the world of textiles. And, introduce the vast career opportunities the industry brings to young people. Join for industry demonstrations, university tours,careers information and experiments to learn about what the future of textiles could mean you.

Colin Parr, Strategic Director, Environment and Climate Change, Kirklees Council said:

‘Textiles is an industry with a rich history in Kirklees and continues to play a vital role in our economy today, providing a range of exciting career opportunities. WOVEN is a vibrant celebration of this significance and we are delighted to host the inclusive programme to showcase our district on a national and international stage and foster a passion for textiles amongst future generations.’

Natalie Walton, Curator of WOVEN said:

We are proud to have created such an inclusive festival that truly reflects Kirklees, with not only WOVEN curated events but the multitude of community events that join the WOVEN programme this year. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors from West Yorkshire and beyond to celebrate textiles and learn together.’

Other ways to get involved

Yarn Bombing

Vibrant yarn bombing will be taking place across the region throughout the festival for people to explore. A map is available to find all Yarn Bomb locations on the WOVEN website.

Stitch Heroes

We want to celebrate your unsung Stitch Heroes! Whether it’s a grandma who knits everyone child the family a jumper or friend who fixes all your snags.  Nominate the Stitch Hero in your life and they’ll be recognised on WOVEN channels, as well as at the festival! To enter, please DM @woveninkirklees on social media or email the team with details by the 19 May.

You can find a full list of all the activities on the WOVEN website