Northern Society of Costume and Textiles
Bradford Textile Archive

The visit on Saturday was interesting and informative with plenty of opportunities to handle examples of pattern books showing fabric samples from 1865 books compiled by the authorities in India to show northern manufacturers examples of the type of fabrics used by the Indian peoples. This enabled the British manufacturers to export vast quantities of fabrics to India's massive market, during the British Empire. The latest of the sample books we looked at showed fabrics collected by a French company of "Trend Spotters", compiled for manufacturers from fashion shows of the top French Designers in the 1970s

The second part of our day, after the usual excellent lunch provided by our caterers, was a talk by NSCT Honorary Secretary, Sue Seeger, who spoke about the 1885 "Velour" pattern book from the Denholme Collection on which she had based the research for her MA dissertation in 1994. The slides shown of fabrics and the fashion garments on which they were used were on this occasion extra special as the "real thing" was available for us to handle, together with the rest of the collection.

The specially designed Archive was opened exclusively for the Society and was well worth the visit and some of us remained to be "thrown out" at closing time. There were many other items in the collection, which could form the basis for a further visit. They also have a website from which bookings for items to view and for visits to see them, can be organised. There will also be an accessible database in the near future enabling people to view the collection over the internet.