Diverse Voices In Textiles

Diverse Voices In Textiles is an initiative designed to support a more considered, inclusive and diverse agenda within textile practice. Led by academics within the School of Creative Arts it developed a series of events and exhibitions that made more visible a diverse range of textile practitioners.

LU Arts is now building on this programme by inviting different textile artists to develop collaborative projects with students, that take place, and help celebrate various awareness weeks and months that take place across the calendar year.
This will include Black History Month, Disability History Month, LGBT+ History Month and International Women’s Day. At the end of the year all the items and produced through the workshops will be exhibited, further promoting the diversity of practice as well as the long association between textiles and activism.

Upcoming Events

Our next workshop will be coming in May - more news soon!

Past Events

Participants were invited to bring an item of clothing or material with them to a workshop that was in need of some care and attention. 

The pieces brought all had significance to the participant and their LGBTQIA+ life. Under workshop leaders Riccardo O’Nascimento and Lucie Hernandez' guidance they mended or upcycled this item. Whilst sharing and discussing each other’s stories in a safe space, they learnt and practiced hand stitch repair techniques suitable for their items.

During this workshops participants had the opportunity to explore and document through stitching a random kindness, created through traditions of quilting from around the world. Using old worn-out cloth and rags to create quilts that are used for bedding, floor coverings, and wrappings for all manner of precious things, participants helped breath new life and purpose into the cloth.

Individual stitched and quilted ‘panels’ were made using 'kantha', both a quilt and a simple running stitch used in the creation of the quilt. The running stitch is both decorative and practical – anchoring the layered fabrics together. Below are some examples made during the workshop.

Designer and stylist Titilayo Abiola held a short course exploring textile and craft techniques.

Participants used a variety of textile and craft based techniques to communicate something about their lived experience, be it generational or something poignant to their personal history.

Over the course of four sessions they explored a variety of textile and craft techniques, from knitting, embroidery & screen printing. 

Below is the result of one participant, Amina Pagliari. Their work is titled 'To pull a thread'. It features a box with two wooden 3D paisley shapes parallel to each other with elastic thread attached. One piece can be turned, creating tension, with the paisley turned representing the forgotten history of Britain's imperial legacy in India. The continual motion will represent the effects of colonialism present today.

Diverse Voices In Textiles Exhibition

The Diverse Voices In Textiles exhibition ran from June to July 2022 at Martin Hall on Loughborough University campus.

The exhibition set out to celebrate distinguished textile designers, artists and practitioners who had otherwise been under-represented within curriculums and the history of textiles by bringing critical stories to the forefront, to enrich and enhance our students' knowledge and understanding of the discipline.