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  • War of the Fibres – free workshop at the University of Leeds 24 October 2015

War of the Fibres – free workshop at the University of Leeds 24 October 2015

Date: October 24, 2015 10:30 am – 2:00 pm

Location: University of Leeds, Brotherton Room, Leeds LS2 9JT


  • You are invited to War of the Fibres, a free workshop that examines local history contributions to the traditional story of the Industrial Revolution, organised by The Enterprise of Culture project in collaboration with Rethinking Textiles and Special Collections at the University of Leeds.

    The workshop includes talks on wool, flax and cotton, a small exhibition of textile documents and artefacts from Special Collections at the Brotherton Library, and an optional walking tour of the University of Leeds campus: all making a half-day day of fresh studies of industrialization and textile production in Leeds. It takes place on Saturday 24 October 2015, starting at 10.30am.

    Professor Regina Lee Blaszczyk and Dr Barbara Hahn, researchers of textile history from the University of Leeds, will take a close look at the rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire in the period of the Industrial Revolution in two talks over the course of the workshop.

    A small War of the Fibres exhibition will demonstrate how important and innovative Leeds textile manufacturers were. The papers of Benjamin Gott and John Marshall, kept in Special Collections at the Brotherton Library, show that Leeds industry pursued new machines and methods of production in their textile factories. They both experimented actively to make their fibres competitive even while cotton stole the glory at the time.

    West Yorkshire’s textile history is fun and fascinating. The documents and talks as part of War of the Fibres will tell a new history of the Industrial Revolution that includes West Yorkshire and Leeds industrialists and the fibres they produced.

    The workshop is free to attend but booking is essential. To register (or for further information) please email or phone (0113) 343 1910.

    This event is a collaboration between the School of History and Special Collections in the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds. It is part of a European Commission-funded grant to the University of Leeds called Rethinking Textiles and is organized in partnership with The Enterprise of Culture (a three year collaborative research project looking at the business history of fashion, funded by the HERA Joint Research Programme).

    One of the goals of Rethinking Textiles is to include understudied fibres in the history of the Industrial Revolution. The history of Leeds and West Yorkshire add flax and linen production, woollens and worsteds into a story more commonly associated with the Lancashire cotton industry. The Industrial Revolution did not happen only in Manchester!



Society of Dyers and Colourists

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