A campaign to celebrate the wonders of Yorkshire wool kicked off this week – with some help from a Batley mill.
Wool Yorkshire aims to showcase West Yorkshire mills in celebration of one of the county’s biggest export success stories.
As part of Campaign for Wool’s Wool Week, which began on Monday, the project shines a spotlight on the mills as dynamic creative enterprises, turning out premium quality woollen, worsted and cashmere fabrics for designers and fashion houses around the world.
Spearheading Wool Yorkshire is Jennifer Nickson of Keighley manufacturer Abbotsford, part of Bradford-based family textile business SIL Holdings.
She said: “The Wool Yorkshire campaign aims not only to raise the profile of wool as a sustainable, natural fibre, but also to showcase Yorkshire’s textile industry as thriving and design-led, manufacturing for the top end of a multi-billion pound global fashion and interiors market.”
Students from Leeds College of Art have helped to create a week long exhibition in the Victoria Quarter, Leeds, illustrating Yorkshire’s role in the world of fashion and interiors.
The fashion, millinery, furniture design and textile college students worked closely with SIL Holdings manufacturers, including cashmere specialist Joshua Ellis and Co, based in Grange Valley Road, Batley.
SIL Holdings group managing director Andrew Seal said cloth produced by the group’s businesses was exported to 23 different countries, sold across the Middle East, far east, Italy and France.
The group, which began trading in the 1970s, sells to luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Prada and Chanel.
He said: “Our region’s mill towns are at the heart of a global fashion business which recognises the value of craftsmanship, quality, expertise and consistency, all things which derive from our textile manufacturing heritage.
“Yorkshire’s continued success in this cut-throat world is down to an ability to consistently produce innovative designs and to reliably exceed our clients’ quality and delivery requirements.”
The Victoria Quarter exhibition runs until Sunday. The project has the backing of Campaign for Wool and Harvey Nichols, which dedicated one of their window displays to Wool Yorkshire this week.