WOVEN is a celebration of innovation in textiles across Kirklees

WOVEN is a biennial festival that first took place in June 2019, with the next big event taking place from 5th to 27th June 2021.

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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This year’s festival will focus on key themes and projects.

From Saturday 5 June you can start to explore and experience WOVEN in various locations across Kirklees. Participatory activities where audiences may need to gather will take place towards the end of the month, giving the best chance of them being able to take place within COVID safety regulations.

Exploring Creativity across Kirklees

Look out for unique textile artist commissions in Dewsbury, family focussed fun with a window trail through Huddersfield, and celebrations of our Growing Colour Together project that encourages growing, foraging and using household waste to make and create natural dyes. Listen to I N T E R W O V E N, a unique soundscape of Kirklees’ mill heritage and present – a mixture of machinery, work, storytelling, brass music and boliyan. Jump on a train to see the Big Rainbow Knit installations at Huddersfield and Batley train stations, together with community-led yarn bombing across Kirklees. 

The Big Rainbow Knit will create a unique yarn bombing of the grand front pillars at Huddersfield train station created by an army of knitters and yarn makers and will be unveiled on Saturday 5th June.

The Batley t’Rainbow is a yarn installation at Batley train station, created with the help of the local community and schools using kaleidoscope patterns, recycling fabrics and rainbow weaving. It and will be unveiled on Sat 12 June to celebrate World Wide Knit-in-Public Day.

Both installations will be in place until Sunday 27th June when they will be dismantled and made into blankets for charities.

WOVEN Together: Families and Young People

Working in partnership with Our Biennale – Children’s Festival, WOVEN welcomes families to have lots of fun together, explore the thriving textile industry on your doorstep and get creative with yarn. On Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June there will be a series of live and online demonstrations, as well as the culmination of various projects that have been taking place in schools during the last year.

Look out for drop in activities taking place around the Piazza Shopping centre for families and children of all ages. Come and see an exhibition of large scale sculptures created by children and young people across Kirklees as part of Our Biennale and inspired by the Joanna Vasconcelos exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Be inspired by creative careers in the textile industry – it’s not only about working in the mills these days!

Showcasing Textile Science and Innovation

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! WOVEN will showcase the science and innovation of textiles with talks from the Space Shed, shining a light on all the incredible work happening behind the scenes in Kirklees that is inspiring the next generation of innovators.

The Space Shed is brought to WOVEN by Unlimited Theatre and is the Unlimited Space Agency‘s spectacular mobile HQ recently winning ‘Unique’ Shed of the Year! Touring to music, science and arts festivals across the UK, The Space Shed plays host to inspirational storytelling shows, interviews with leading scientists and sets by guest DJs.

Could there be a better place to showcase innovation and look to the possibilities of the future?

Celebrating Participation

The final weekend of the festival, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June, will be a celebration of two long term projects, The Big Rainbow Knit and Growing Colour Together, where participants have knitted thousands of squares for the yarn bomb installations and explored the techniques and processes involved in natural dyeing and how they can be applied to textile art and making.

The Big Rainbow Knit
Join us on St George’s Square in Huddersfield for a weekend of knitting themed fun. Browse yarn stalls & displays, watch scaled-up craft demonstrations, and soak up the atmosphere with roaming theatrics and buskers. All with the backdrop of the spectacular Big Rainbow Knit yarn bombed pillars of Huddersfield train station. You can also expect some sneaky yarn bombing of other areas in the square!

Growing Colour Together
Visit Ravensknowle Park to find out more about how to make natural dyes from suitable plants and materials and how the dyes can be used in textile artworks and fashion. Our ambition is to build a network of ‘colour gardens’ across Kirklees, come and find out how you can help make that happen!

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