Leeds nostalgia: Taking a tape measure to history of suits in Leeds

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A dapper throwback to Leeds’s rich industrial heritage, this demob suit was recreated by a team of modern specialists.

Based on an original Burton’s suit from 1945, the recreation was done through a partnership between Leeds Industrial Museum and Yorkshire Textiles.

The new suit, which is on display at the museum alongside the original, was created two years ago, when the museum teamed up with Yorkshire Textiles to commission their own bespoke cloth. The luxurious eco British wool yarn was developed by Laxtons of Guiseley in Leeds and made using the museum’s historic looms. Experts who worked on the project to re-create the suit included master weaver Greg Kotovs, bespoke tailors Carl Stuart of Ossett and leading textile finishers WT Johnsons.

Demob suits were a suit of civilian clothes given to a man on his demobilisation from the British armed forces at the end of the Second World War.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “This project is a brilliant tribute to the city’s tailoring and textile heritage, which stretches back over 200 years.”

The suit also took pride of place at the museum’s recent celebrations for Wool Week. Leeds Industrial Museums is housed in what was once the world’s largest woollen mill and gives visitors a chance to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives. See www.leeds.gov.uk/armleymills