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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

Textile Tribute

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The Whitworth reflects the textile heritage of the City of Manchester, so if you’re in need of a fabric fix it’s an obvious choice.


The founder, Sir Joseph Whitworth’s aspirations for the museum were practical and inclusive, to inspire and educate people of all walks of life and to reflect the footage of the city. The founders sought samples from far and wide to inspire the cloth makers of that time. The gallery has never stopped since then. The gallery continues to offer exhibitions from antiquity right up to the present day.

The gallery also houses an impressive collection of British watercolours and drawings, which will feature in my most recent writing endeavour “Artful Designs” (in the ever-filling pipeline) but it was that textile collections that lured me in this instance.

There’s something about textiles that soothes my soul. In fact surface pattern, design, paper and fabric in general are a balm. Even if it’s just handling a bit of thread or walk there’s a calming quality to this textile matter. If I can feast my eyes on historical and modern examples sampled from around the globe - even better!

My particular favourites from the two trips that I recently had to the gallery are the Liberty samples and the historical garments. The skill and expertise that is showcased is so inspiring. After gazing upon these wonders I’m determined to try harder to apply such dedication to my own effort, however, humble in comparison.

If you’d like to join me in enjoying these delights you can view the pictures on Facebook or you can watch my slideshow.

There are examples of such beauty in all sorts of unexpected places. My husband and I often ride out to Buxton on the motorbike and I have a favourite tearoom there that I specifically visit because I absolutely love the wallpaper. (The tea and cakes are pretty good too!)

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