Lost treasure of city’s heritage is celebrated

Sheffield art lovers have celebrated a two-year exhibition into the story of Painted Fabrics’ fascinating history.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 07 April, 2019, 11:37
Trevor Gastolo inspecting a WW1 poppy inspired exhibit at the Painted Fabrics exhibition at The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield

Painted Fabrics Ltd is a forgotten lost treasure of Sheffield’s heritage.

In its time, the company operated from 1923 to 1959, the firm was internationally famous; royalty was amongst its patrons.

WW1 poppy inspired exhibit at the Painted Fabrics exhibition at The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield

Artists, colleagues and partners of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) project ‘The Story of Painted Fabrics’, held a bizarre at the Cutlers’ Hall to celebrate the end of the two year’s collaboration yesterday.

The project has been delivered with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Project Organiser, Ali Kitley-Jones said: “It has been an exciting project working with people in various heritage and creative settings.”

Rob Hindle, Project Manager, added: “The Story of Painted Fabrics deserves to be better known. The project is giving people with little experience of heritage learning an opportunity to discover this fascinating part of our history and to create an imaginative and enduring legacy of theirown”.

Painted Fabrics exhibition at The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield

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The founder of Painted Fabrics Ltd, Annie Bindon Carter MBE (1883 – 1969), was a true pioneer. She met servicemen severely physically and mentally disabled by the First World War at Wharncliffe War Hospital and developed the idea of adapting equipmentfor them to be able to design and produce fabrics.

The company provided homes for the men and their families, as well as a workplace to produce textiles items such as hankies, scarves, clothing, and larger pieces for big houses plus, public places such as churches.

The goods were sold in the UK and abroad, through high profile exhibitions at places such as Wentworth Woodhouse and Claridge’s as well as outlets across the UK including Liberty’s of London. The final exhibition was held at the Cutler’s Hall in 1958 – hence yesterday’s celebratory event.

A silent auction of art, created by some of the team, combined with the selling of crafts, plus many other goods was also held, as part of the festivities.

Painted Fabrics exhibition at The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield entertained by Ukele players
Trevor Gastolo inspecting a WW1 poppy inspired exhibit at the Painted Fabrics exhibition at The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield
Painted Fabrics exhibition at The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield
Painted Fabrics exhibition at The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield