News and Events
Since Summer 2014 1A Barton Road has been evolving into a Bristol hub of all things textile. Now home to Antiform, Bristol Textile Quarter, Dash+Miller and, most recently, the Bristol Weaving Mill, we thought it was time to open our doors in celebration of our collective endeavours.
Join us for an evening on Tuesday May 17th!
Timings and Things
18:00 – 19:00 Open doors and welcome from local historian who situates Barton Hill and Old Market textile industries in wider historical context, together with exhibition of city archive images.
19:00 Bristol Weaving Mill: who we are, networks and collaborations…introduced by Lizzie Harrison Antiform)
19:30 Bristol Textile Quarter: who we are, networks and collaborations…introduced by Lizzie Harrison (Antiform)
20:00 – 21:00 Drinks and informal networking
***20:00 Tour of Bristol Weaving Mill **LIMITED spaces, please email email@example.com in advance to reserve a place.***
Your ticket includes free drinks AND access to our exclusive pop-up shop featuring designs from Bristol-based Antiform, Tamay & Me and Mae Scarves.
May 17, 2016
LAUNCH EVENING Thursday 17th March
6.30 – 9.00 pm Bristol Textile Quarter
1A Barton Road, St Philips, Bristol BS2 0LF
Tamay & Me are proud to launch their first collection of entirely traceable and fairly-traded indigo cotton jackets.
Hannah Cowie and Ly TaMay have created two versatile unisex jacket designs to provide reliable and flexible employment for the Red Dzao community in Taphin village, Vietnam. Our label also aims to raise awareness of the Red Dzao’s exceptional embroidery skills.
The jackets are made using a zero-waste traditional pattern. The cotton and indigo are grown in the same village where the cloth is spun, woven and dyed. The embroidery is reclaimed from old clothes and even the silk braiding is hand plaited. Hannah and Tamay’s intention is that a piece of clothing can have a positive impact and that we should be proud of what we wear, an idea that is central to Red Dzao culture.
Come and hear the whole story, see the jackets and drink a glass of wine with us to celebrate the beginning of Tamay & Me, we would love to have you there.
March 17, 2016
Starting this week, Tuesday 10th and lasting through until end of play Monday 16th, BTQ will be hosting a textile takeover and pop-up studio in the Bristol Green Capital Lab space on the Harbourside (next to the Stable.)
Visit the Made in Bristol Christmas shop AND get to see local textile makers and designers going about their work, including:
A Peculiar Grace – contemporary and vintage upholstery
Josephine Munsey – print designer
Lucy Lloyd – leather and suede moccasins and accessories
Laura Griffin – clean-lined, sharp, feminine clothing in beautiful fabrics
Jokoto Clothing -sportswear-inspired tailoring and panelling with a hint of traditional yet playful Japanese aesthetic
The Lab is open from 10am until 6pm every day.
November 16, 2015
Join us for an evening of celebration as we announce the winner of the Bristol Cloth competition and present them with a finished, woven length of the Cloth in their design.
Bristol & Somerset-based enterprises Bristol Textile Quarter CIC, Botanical Inks, Fernhill Farm, Dash + Miller Ltd and The Bristol Weaving Mill Ltd join forces to produce the Bristol Cloth:a 100% wool fabric of classic heritage-inspired design, prioritising locally sourced materials and manufacturing processes from the South West of the UK.
The Bristol Cloth design competition invited designers across the South West to submit weave design ideas throughout the summer, of which four entries have been shortlisted and displayed in the Bristol Green Capital Lab space during September. The Bristol public along with a selected panel of judges were then invited to vote for their favorite design and we ‘re delighted to now have the pleasure of unveiling the winning design as a finished piece of cloth in this Awards Ceremony on Wednesday October 28th.
Please book your FREE tickets on our Eventbrite page here.
The Bristol Cloth intends to challenge Bristol’s textile community to begin to explore what a more resilient textile economy may look like locally. For a city that has such a strong network that is working to make Bristol a sustainable food city, it seems logical that the next conversation could, and should be about textiles. The global food industry is the world’s most polluting industry, while the global textile and garment industry is a close second. With Bristol being Europe’s Green Capital of 2015 there really couldn’t be a better time to start a conversation that is currently missing from the local agenda.
The evening will be followed by a drop-in textile mingle – an opportunity for Bristol’s textile community to get together, chat and generally throw around lots of great ideas. For us the Bristol Cloth is a prefect example of what can be achieved when you join the dots and connect local producers, with manufacturers and designers. We hope it will serve as an inspiration for future Bristol collaborations.
Look out for future Textile Mingles in other venues around Bristol….or get in touch if you would like to host one form your workspace/studio!
October 28, 2015
Four beautiful designs by weavers from the South West have now been shortlisted for the Bristol Cloth design competition and are all now on display in the Bristol Green Capital 2015 Lab space down on Bristol’s Harbourside.
Pop down there between now and September 30th to register your vote – just ask at the shop for a sticker to stick next to your favourite!
The winner will be announced in an awards ceremony in the evening of October 28th.
September 30, 2015
Bristol Cloth: A 100% wool fabric of classic heritage-inspired design, prioritising locally-sourced materials and manufacturing processes from the South West of the UK.
With Bristol as Europe’s Green Capital in 2015, what better time than now to explore how a more resilient, local textile might look?
Bristol & Somerset-based enterprises Bristol Textile Quarter CIC, Botanical Inks, Fernhill Fleece, Dash + Miller Ltd and The Bristol Weaving Mill Ltd join forces to produce the Bristol Cloth and invite Bristol and the South West’s creative communities to get involved!
The competition is open to anyone with a South West postcode providing they’re design is submitted in the required format. Full details of the Design Brief and technical Specifications can be found on the Bristol Cloth website:
The competition deadline is August 31st with shortlisted designs being displayed in the Green Capital Lab space during September for public voting and panel judging taking place end of September.
The winner of the competition will be presented with a length of cloth in a prize-giving ceremony at the Green Capital Lab space on the eve of October 28th after which the finished cloth will be available for wholesale and retail purchase.
August 31, 2015
“Watching the Lesotho shearers is like poetry; they are so relaxed they have no physicality to them at all…their hands simply float over the sheep and the wool falls off.”
This is not the only comparison made today between sheep shearing and what would generally be considered an altogether more classical art form. Andy Wear, shepherd and master shearer as well as our tutor for today’s Introduction to Blade Shearing workshop, owns and runs Fernhill Farm together with his partner Jen Hunter, animal husbandry specialist and current Nuffield Farming Scholar for her research into wool. The pair have created a unique farm, combining traditional farming (including 2000 head of sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens) with modern diversification (eco-venue for weddings & conferences, rural education, glamping, music festivals) while doing it all in as a sustainable way as possible. Not, as Andy says, because they feel like they need to, but because it simply makes sense.
The day begins with a farm ‘walk and talk’ – more an in-depth tour of Fernhill and everything that is amazing about it. Which is a lot. From the sheep – and we were there mid-lambing, to the willow reed-bed filtration system, the polytunnel and rural education projects they are working on, dry-stone wall conservation and restoration of historic stone buildings. We arrived back to the shearing shed/lambing barn for a brew and a shearing demonstration by Andy using just about the biggest sheep (a prize-winning Polled Dorset ram) that any of us had ever seen. A look of consternation begins to spread across everyone’s faces.
As Andy talks us through the process of how to prepare our blades – bending them, smoothing any burrs, checking their line, customising finger guards and straps..I’m reminded of the way ballet dancers ‘break in’ each new of pointe shoes – bashing them about, even taking a razor to them, to make them more comfortable and give themselves greater grip. And sheep shearing is, without doubt, another form of dance.
Photograph by Alex Ingram Photography, 2014.
The expert shearer must have energy, strength and endurance, yet be completely flexible and relaxed at the same time; able to absorb the energy of the sheep without fighting against it, and transfer the weight of the animal around in artful, seamless movements without ever giving it reason, or opportunity, to struggle. For a learner it can take an immense effort to coordinate oneself, sheep and blades, yet watching an expert it seems perfectly choreographed. The secret to this, Andy emphasises time and again, is in staying relaxed. Andy lines up the group behind him, each with a sheep, and has them copy his moves step by step..just as if teaching a dance, together with the the direction of each ‘blow’ (stroke with the blades)…blow by blow.
His other secret is in the footwork: Andy controls the sheep he is shearing by gently applying pressure with his feet, calves and knees, manoeuvring the sheep by using it’s weight and centre of gravity in balance with his own. Its beautiful, seemingly effortless and not entirely dissimilar to a martial art. Indeed; in Wing Chun kung fu the primary stance for ultimate balance is the ‘goat stance,’ while another position is called ‘gripping the goat.’
The shearer even has his own kind of dance shoe: the shearing moccasin.
A shearer of over 30 years, though one who still professes to be learning, Andy has travelled the globe with his blades, competed internationally and (if he really wanted to) could shear around 300 in a day. The world record holders can shear over 500..but thats with mechanical blades, an altogether noisier, more stressful experience for everyone involved, and as Andy believes, not so good for the fleece either. Today’s group, comprising local biodynamic farmers, a vet, hobby farmer, future textile student and ethical restauranteur, all here for different reasons, each managed one in 40 minutes….not bad considering the look of horror on most of their faces as it dawned on them what they had let themselves in for. We even got one throwable fleece – one that is shorn off in a single piece.
While BTQ began facilitating these workshops in order to provide textile workers (be they students or professionals) with unique, immersive opportunities to learn direct from the animals and farmers who grow our best textile fibres in the UK…it is evident that learning these skills has the capacity to teach so much more. Confidence and self-esteem spring to mind; everyone in the group was surprised by what they managed to achieve in so short a time…but also care, trust and mindfulness. Sheep, like many animals, will mirror your own energy and attitude, and can excellently reflect how you come across to others: “treat them as you would want to be treated yourself,” Andy began, right back at the beginning of the day. Credit to our novice shearers (or perhaps the sheep have been here before) they might not have been the Royal Ballet, but wouldn’t have faired too badly at all at the local village dance.
BTQ can organise blade shearing, wool craft and other immersive learning days at Fernhill Farm tailored toward just about any kind of group..from schools to university students and community groups, even corporate, team-building and family days out.
April 26, 2015
Starting at the beginning of Lent, serendipitously almost the same day as the BTQ launch evening, I have been wearing the same six garments, and only those six garments (with the exception of two – more about those later) in support of Labour Behind The Label‘s Six Items Challenge.
What better time than now, as Bristol is Green Capital, and as BTQ is making its first steps in building a community of likeminded people in our city who want to see a more local textile economy, to explore my own relationship to garments and how I wear them.
Choose 6 items from your wardrobe and wear only those 6 items (not including underwear, outerwear, sportswear and footwear) for the duration of Lent..6 weeks.
My Six Items (in a pleasingly small pile:)
For the whole story, please see here: https://sixitemschallenge2015.everydayhero.com/uk/emma-jane-hague
April 4, 2015
We are excited to finally be launching BTQ as a workspace, but also a means of facilitating meaningful and productive networking and collaborations between likeminded textile peers. We are building a community that wants to see more responsible, more resilient supply chains lay the foundations for our local textile economy.
Please register to attend here and check back for update scheduling as we’ll be adding more as the time draws near:
Image: Schoener Goetterfunken VII, ‘Joyful, as His suns are flying’, 2011 Artwork by Sebastiaan Bremer.
February 19, 2015