Exhibition: Resists – exploring resist-dyed textiles across cultures


Exhibition dates: 25 April – 13 December 2018, Leeds, UK

‘Resist dyeing’ or ‘resist patterning’ are terms used to encompass a wide variety of techniques through which fabric is decorated by allowing dyestuff to only come into contact with selected areas of either the yarn or the fabric’s surface. Variants of such techniques are found universally, but for this exhibition the emphasis will be on textiles from West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Japan and Indonesia.

The exhibition will identify the principal resist-dyeing techniques, and the characteristics of the resultant products.  Techniques displayed will include batik, ikat, resist block-printing, stencils, tie-dye and other stitched techniques.  It will present examples of ajrakh, English Wax, katagami and shibori.

The exhibition will draw from items within the ULITA collection, particularly showcasing two relatively recent significant collections to come to ULITA, including one from OATG member Hywel Coleman. This is a substantial loan collection of batiks, ikats and weaves. Its greatest strengths are textiles from South Sulawesi, Bali, and West and East Nusa Tenggara.

For more information visit the website of ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles


Event: Resist-patterning – tradition and trade



Event date: 24 April 2018, 5:00pm-6:00pm, M&S Company Archive, University of Leeds

ULITA – The University of Leeds International Textiles Archive – presents an evening talk to celebrate the opening of the  Resists: exploring resist-dyed textiles across cultures exhibition.

Researcher, designer and educator Dr Kate Wells discusses the unification of hand, technology and innovation in the history of resist-patterned fabrics across the world. Exploring historical and contemporary resist dye techniques, she will also illustrate the potential of new approaches and procedures to enable the survival and commercial production of resist-patterned fabric.

Following the lecture, an opening reception with refreshments will take place at ULITA (St Wilfred’s Chapel) from 6pm. The reception is drop-in, no need to book.

Further information and the link to book for the lecture can be found at the ULITA website here

Exhibition: The Synthetics Revolution – Man-made Fibres and Everyday Fashion

ULITA - Synthetics Revolution

Exhibition dates: 22 June – 21 July and 4 October – 1 December 2016 (open August/September by appointment)

The rise of man-made and synthetic fibres has placed ‘miracle’ materials at the heart of the modern fashion system. Today, these high-performance test-tube materials are found in clothing, furnishings and household goods. From the mid-twentieth century, firms such the DuPont Company, ICI and Courtaulds revolutionised people’s relationships with fibres by making and promoting a family of man-made and synthetic fibres, including rayon, nylon, polyester and acrylic.  As the world’s largest fibre manufacturer, DuPont publicised one new material, acrylic, as a ‘better fibre by design than a sheep produces inadvertently’.

The Enterprise of Culture project (School of History, Leeds) has teamed up with ULITA (University of Leeds International Textiles Archive) and the Yorkshire Fashion Archive (School of Design) to look behind the scenes of the synthetics revolution with the aim of bringing the story of man-made fibres and how we interact with them to life.

Drawing on these two university archive collections, the exhibition delves into how the introduction of synthetic fibres into a predominantly woollen manufacturing area, Yorkshire, had an impact on the lives of its inhabitants and changed the face of the textile industry in the region. Synthetic fibres were a global phenomenon, but many technical innovations originated in Yorkshire. A programme of events will investigate the experiences of people in Yorkshire as they came to know the new wonder fibres and their love/hate relationship with them.

This exhibition particularly promotes ULITA items from the Fibre Collection and Department of Textiles Industries Collection, including items only recently discovered.

For more information, visit the website of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textiles Archive).