Artists' tribute to Leeds mills' record breaking history

A HEART-FELT tribute to the city's industrial past has been unveiled after a year-long examination of a museum's archive.

Thursday, 19th April 2018, 9:20 am
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2018, 9:26 am
Curator Chris Sharp looks at a garment made by Chloe Greenwood named Hard Times, part of the exhibition The Felted Mill, which is felt creations by local felters inspired by the Leeds Industrial Musuem, Armley Mill. Picture Tony Johnson.

Members of the International Feltmakers Association spent 12 months examining Leeds Industrial Museum’s collection before creating their own textiles, clothes and 3D sculptures.

Each piece helps to chart the story of textile production at Armley Mills, where the museum is based, and was once the largest of its kind in the world with 50 huge looms working to produce textiles that were shipped across the globe.

The artists involved attended workshops and investigated the museum’s archives to find out more about how the mill once worked before spending hours crafting their creations.

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A 'sample book' part of an exhibition called The Felted Mill, which is felt creations by local felters inspired by the Leeds Industrial Musuem, Armley Mill. Picture Tony Johnson.

One sculpture shows the mill’s towering chimney, whilst a broad-brimmed hat depicts the nearby waterwheel, which can both still be seen on site today.

Chris Sharp, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ assistant community curator, said: “The pieces that have been created are a really impressive and a fitting tribute to the museum’s history as a place that played a key role in making Leeds one of the textile industry’s leading lights around the world.

“The imposing mill buildings and the array of impressive equipment we have on display are a window onto a time when the museum must have been filled with the noise and energy of production and they’ve clearly been a huge inspiration for the artists who worked on this project.

“The collection they have produced will hopefully give visitors a different way of exploring our industrial heritage and a reminder of the skill and artistry that exists today.”

Creations by local felters inspired by the Leeds Industrial Musuem. PIC: Tony Johnson

Wool Stories: The Felted Mill is open at Leeds Industrial Museum until October 21.

More pieces from the Felted Mill exhibition which is felt creations by local felters inspired by the Leeds Industrial Musuem, Armley Mill. Picture Tony Johnson.
A 'sample book' part of an exhibition called The Felted Mill, which is felt creations by local felters inspired by the Leeds Industrial Musuem, Armley Mill. Picture Tony Johnson.
Creations by local felters inspired by the Leeds Industrial Musuem. PIC: Tony Johnson
More pieces from the Felted Mill exhibition which is felt creations by local felters inspired by the Leeds Industrial Musuem, Armley Mill. Picture Tony Johnson.