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Fiberarts - Summer 2008
Summer 2008

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Sampling: Textiles Inspired by Tradition
Hear Consuelo Jiménez Underwood, Valarie James, and Vic De La Rosa talk about their work “at the Border.”
U. K. Travel Recommendations beyond London
Updated Textile Tours
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Travel Beyond London


There are a lot of textile events this summer and fall in the United Kingdom. In the Travel and Traditions section of our Summer 2008 issue we include a day by day itinerary of galleries, museums, antique shows, and markets filled with textiles compiled by Francine Kirsch. Here we share additional U.K. travel recommendations beyond London, also by Francine Kirsch.

Combine Brighton’s attractions with a Frock Me! vintage fashion show (June 22, October 5, November 23 at the University of Brighton's Sally Benney Theatre, Grand Parade, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., admission, Don't miss the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, next to the must-see Brighton Pavilion. The Museum has permanent fashion and design galleries plus temporary exhibitions: The Little Black Dress until June 1, Chinoiserie in Britain until November 2. Tuesday 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 2–5 p.m., free (

If you're a Jane Austen fan, you'll love Bath's Fashion Museum, ensconced in the Assembly Rooms where Regency balls were once held. Daily 11 a.m.–6 p.m., admission (

Also in western England is Killerton House (in Broadclyst, Exeter), the National Trust's own repository of costume. Check its website ( for opening hours, which vary by season. The Cavalcade of Costume is also in the general area, in the quaint town of Blandford Forum (Lime Tree House, The Plocks, Thursday–Saturday and Monday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., From September 25–28, the CreativeStitches & Hobbycrafts show will be held in Exeter proper, at the Westpoint Centre (

Take the train to Newark station to catch shuttle buses for two vast antiques fairs. Thousands of dealers in fields and animal stalls. Not for the fainthearted (bring food and drink—and a portable chair if possible), but I did find the antique of my dreams there. Most practical approach: do the Swallow show for free on Wednesday (June 4, August 6, October 8, +44 (0) 1298 27493; between 8 a.m.–5 p.m., return via Newark station on Thursday for the expensive dmg show (June 5, August 7, October 9) between 9 a.m.–6 p.m., (+44 (0) 1636 702326;

Birmingham's NEC , site of August's Festival of Quilts and September's Knitting and Stitching Show, also hosts a November 13–16 multi-hall affair combining Hobbycrafts, Art Materials, Christmas Crafts, and Cake Decoration ( Whether it's August, September, or November, consider going into central Birmingham for the Museum &Art Gallery with its renowned collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings, excellent restaurant (Chamberlain Square, Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 12:30–5 p.m., free,

If you're visiting Greenwich for the Royal Observatory/National Maritime Museum, take in the Fan Museum (10-12 Crooms Hill, Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 12–5 p.m., admission,

Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery has huge collections of wallpaper and textiles—and constantly changing exhibits (until October 12, Flights of Fancy examines wallpaper dados). Oxford Road, Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 12–4 p.m., free, While the Platt Hall Gallery of Costume is closed for renovations until October, the Manchester Art Gallery has stepped in. When I was there, it had excellent button and art book exhibits (Mosley Street, Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., free,

Chains like Hobbycrafts, similar to our Michaels and A.C. Moore, have branches just outside most cities and are worth checking out. Don't overlook thrift shops—the British don't. Every charity seems to have them and, in places like Canterbury and Eastbourne, entire streets are “devoted” to them.

If you're looking for more in-depth tours of the United Kingdom, visit our textile tours resource page at and look for Handcrafted Holidays and the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery.



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