Case Study


textile futures

TEXTILE FUTURES was a two-day event held in July 2023 at the University of Huddersfield to inspire and inform young people about the education, training, careers, manufacturing, science, innovation & design of textiles. 

WOVEN in Kirklees worked in collaboration with the University of Huddersfield Arts and Humanities department and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to plan and deliver the free event, inviting young people, their families and teachers to learn more about the incredibly varied textile career opportunities available in Kirklees. 

The event was an exciting combination of textile industry demonstrations, tours of the fashion and textile facilities, the graduate exhibition, live experiments in the technical textiles labs, a textile careers Q&A and a hands-on print workshop in the textiles studio. Experts from local textile companies Camira, Wooltex, Bower Roebuck, Gardiner Yarns, Fabworks and the Textile Centre of Excellence exhibited sample products and were available throughout to answer questions from attendees and talk about the roles and opportunities available in the textiles sector. 

Information collected from 60+ pupils who attended on the schools day (Friday 7 July 2023) indicates that, for all but one, this was the first time they had visited a further or higher education textiles department and that the event had significantly increased their understanding of, and improved attitudes towards, jobs and careers within the textiles sector.

“Now I understand that textiles is not all about clothes”

Other young attendees told us that they enjoyed:

 “Different activities, lots of useful information, getting to see/watch/touch
“I liked the robots, they were fun”
“The careers advisor and the robotic people”
“ Everything was very interesting and technical” 
“The variety of opportunities the textiles future holds” 

On Saturday 8 July, TEXTILE FUTURES was open to the public, enabling families to join and learn more together about Kirklees’s textiles industry. As well as welcoming local visitors, people came from as far away as London to discover what the region has to offer. In addition to the tours and talks, attendees were also able to get hands on with a pattern cutting fashion workshop delivered by a University tutor and a rug tufting workshop delivered by a recent textile graduate who has set up her own rug making company. 

Even local people discovered that Kirklees still has a thriving textiles industry:

‘I thought all the mills had closed down. I used to work in one till it shut. Been talking to Bower Roebuck.’
‘For someone who worked in the textile industry years ago it is nice to see TEXTILES has a future.’ 

Due to the success of TEXTILE FUTURES in 2023, WOVEN in Kirklees in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority are in the early stages of planning an event in the summer of 2024. If you are interested in attending or exhibiting at this event, please contact us.


If you can’t wait until summer 2024 to inspire your students with the incredible textile innovations in Kirklees, we have plenty of resources on our YouTube channel: 

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