Case Study


Front of Huddersfield Train Station in the background showing the knitted rainbow decoration on the pillars with a statue in the foreground wearing a knitted WOVEN2021 scarf

WOVEN 2023

In June 2023 the festival ran for over five weeks with a vibrant programme of events across Kirklees. It included over 130 events that were an exciting mix of long term embedded programmes, community led projects and partnerships.

Our overarching themes were sustainability and community, sewing and growing, with festival highlights including:

STRUT: The festival opened on Saturday 3 June with a one day celebration of fashion, music and identity outside Dewsbury Town Hall. The main event saw school, youth and community groups and the proud people of Dewsbury strut their stuff down the catwalk in upcycled and embellished garments they had developed during a series of workshops. The day was hosted by BBC presenter Rima Ahmed and Kirklees Year of Music live bands played the soundtrack to the event, which also included a skate park, workshops, and a pop up photography studio with Casey Orr

Growing Colour Together: A long term natural dye project, supported by Arts Council England and the Major’s Fund saw three areas of Kirklees – Dewsbury, Kirkburton and Birkby – showcase the stunning work created by communities, working with local and regional artists. The showcases were the culmination of a series of workshops and events exploring natural dyes and environmental impact

Quilted Exhibition: The hub for WOVEN in June 23 was Quilted at Huddersfield Art Gallery. Surrounded by mesmerising quilts produced by community groups and  professional quilters, WOVEN hosted a series of workshops and talks that explored the heritage, stories and textiles skills of Kirklees. 

Mission to Mend: Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Mission to Mend celebrated everything to do with sewing, mending and making. It was delivered in Golcar, Meltham, Mirfield, Holmfirth and Heckmondwike, through a series of workshops and roadshows that brought together local makers and communities to promote, discover and share creative mending techniques and heritage skills. 

The project also saw the creation and distribution of 1000 mending kits to children across Kirklees to help them learn basic sewing repairs, such as sewing on a button. 

Textiles Futures: Following on from a textiles careers programme working with local schools and industry, with the support of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Textile Futures was a two day event hosted by Huddersfield University. Industry partners joined WOVEN and the university to inform and inspire young people and their families with the impressive, thriving textile industry and innovation on their doorstep in Kirklees 

Community: Kirklees communities are always pivotal to the WOVEN festival and 2023 saw a record number of community initiated events from yarn bombing and exhibitions to workshops and textiles tours. This wealth of textile celebration, passion and pride underpins everything WOVEN is about.

Read the full evaluation to find out more.

WOVEN 2021

In June 2021 WOVEN delivered a programme of virtual and physical events across Kirklees. It was one of the first festivals to be held in the UK following the easing of government restrictions. Despite significant disruption to planning and preparation, WOVEN21 was a 4 week programme of 97 events & activities across Kirklees, showcasing and celebrating the region’s enduring, rich and diverse textiles sector.

With a vibrant mix of live & digital events, a packed programme was delivered across Kirklees . The key themes and highlights included:

Exploring Creativity across Kirklees
This strand included 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 to make and create natural dyes.

Audiences could listen to I N T E R W O V E N, a unique soundscape of Kirklees’ mill heritage and present installation in Huddersfield city centre. Visitors could 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.

WOVEN Together
Families and Young People Working in partnership with Our Biennale. Families had lots of fun together, with   a series of live and online demonstrations, as well as the exhibition of large scale sculptures inspired by the Joanna Vasconcelos exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park created by children and young people across Kirklees .

Showcasing Textile Science and Innovation
Highlights included the Space Shed at Greenhead Park, Huddersfield – a series of talks and demonstrations about innovation in textiles for the benefit of our planet, and how Kirklees is at the forefront of research and development.

The Charity Shop Challenge – a sustainable fashion project which engaged a group of Year 10 Textiles students from Holmfirth High School, culminating in an exhibition at Holmfirth Indoor Market.

Celebrating Community and Participation
The final weekend of the festival was a celebration of two long term projects, The Big Rainbow Knit and Growing Colour Together.

The Big Rainbow Knit on St George’s Square in Huddersfield was a weekend of knitting themed fun. Growing Colour Together at Ravensknowle Park; you could 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.

Read the full evaluation to find out more about the successes and learning, visitor feedback, project and artist case studies, data and impact.

You can also read the 2019 Evaluation Report here.

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