WOVEN is a celebration of innovation in textiles across Kirklees

WOVEN is a biennial festival that began in 2019, with the next big event due to happen in June 2023.

It is initiated and funded by Kirklees Council, but is owned by everyone, including community groups, textile businesses, cultural and educational organisations, artists and heritage sites across the district.

WOVEN’s theme is generations of innovators, connecting a strong heritage with today’s innovative developments in industry, university research, a strong arts and crafts scene and the creative expression of the district’s rich and diverse communities.

Whilst a big festival event will happen in June every other year, there will also be long term projects and smaller events happening in between.

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2023 Key Themes

The key focus of WOVEN23 is sustainability. All our projects will be exploring the impact of textiles on our environment, our communities and our futures.

Celebrating Community and Participation

WOVEN is initiated by Kirklees Council, but owned by everyone, so participation is vitally important to us.

Since 2019 the Woven Into Song/INTERWOVEN project has explored stories of immigration, from the industrial revolution to the present day. It celebrates the diverse cultural landscape that has grown in Kirklees through that immigration into the textile industry, mixing traditional British and South Asian cultural influence.

In Dewsbury in 2022 INTERWOVEN also explored the shoddy and mungo industry and its connections with environmental concerns in the modern textile industry.

In 2019 The Big Knit yarn bombed towns and villages across the district. It grew into the Big Rainbow Knit for 2021, with installations at Huddersfield and Batley train stations, together with community-led yarn bombing across Kirklees. 2023 will be setting the challenge of how we can make yarn bombing more sustainable.

Environmental Impact

Growing Colour Together is a natural dying project, and the flagship project for WOVEN23. Building on the work from 2021, Kirklees is set to become one giant colour garden. Communities, schools, allotment groups, projects and organisations are joining together to grow, harvest, forage, dye and create with naturally sourced dyes. 

In a throw away and fast fashion culture how to do we make do and mend? WOVEN will be running Every Child Challenges and Repair Not Throw sessions, showing how we can all reduce our waste and save money and value our loved items. 

DID YOU KNOW? Kirklees is home to some of the great innovations in textile science. Textiles influence almost every part of our lives from medical textiles to climate change, our landscape and leisure!

In 2021 we showcased science and innovation in textiles with talks from The Space Shed, shining a light on all the incredible work happening behind the scenes in Kirklees, and how it is inspiring the next generation of innovators. WOVEN23 will be looking deeper into how future developments are helping to save the planet.

Local Talent Development

Careers: What are the careers pathways available locally and beyond. We are highlighting through our Careers in 100 seconds how individuals from Kirklees have made successful careers in the textiles industries. WOVEN will be at the local schools in the career’s fairs, impacting on the curriculum with Weaving Together a Story of Place and inspiring students with the charity shop challenge. 

Making It: With the Textiles Centre of Excellence, WOVEN is providing a series of sewing courses across the region that will support local women into industry and employment.

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