Brought to you by League of Artisans, Leek Textile Weekend took place from 20th to 21st January 2024. In a celebration of the town’s rich textile heritage, Leek Textile Weekend comprised a series of community-focused activities, talks and exhibitions that wove threads of the past into the present, spinning new connections with Indian artisans whose knowledge helped transform the local industry. 

With a focus on the skills for which Leek became world-famous—silk, natural dyes, block prints and embroidery—we paid homage to William Morris’ acclaimed collaboration with Sir Thomas Wardle, revealed the important role played by Indian artisans through their knowledge of plant dyes and wild silk, and celebrated the magnificent work of the Leek Embroidery Society. But this was about more than a historic legacy, visible only in crumbling mill buildings and a few blue plaques: Leek was once home to the UK textile workers’ union, and we also discussed how the knowledge that shaped fashion’s past can help transform its future.

A huge thanks to the expertise who brought Leek Textile Weekend to life with their insightful talks, engaging demonstrations and workshops: Emma Ferry // Róisín Inglesby // Juhi Pandey // Kate Turnbull // Deirdre McKay // Becca Smith // Emily Lashford //  Karumo Textiles // Cathryn Walton // Kinetika // and Foxlowe Art Centre. Visit our YouTube channel to see the online webinar.

Enormous thanks to our amazing supporters for making Leek Textile Weekend possible: National Lottery through Arts Council England // UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in the form of a Cultural Arts and Heritage grant from SMDC // OUTSIDE Arts // British Council India // Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

Visit @leagueofartisans to see more photos and videos.


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