About Textile Tales

Textile Tales recognised that whilst the history of the invention of cotton spinning and the mills of the Derwent Valley is documented and well known, there is little collated about the decline of the textile industry in the East Midlands in the 1980s onwards.  In the 1980s, Marks and Spencer sourced 90% of its supplies from British Companies, by 2000 this had reduced to 40%.  As a result, companies disappeared along with the clubs and social groups that existed within and alongside these workplaces.

This project provides the opportunity to hear from people who worked in these industries in whatever role they played.  Capturing these stories will shine a light on experiences, characteristic sights, sounds, humour and anecdotes.  These will be saved and shared with generations to come.

Naturally, there are questions that arise about living and working in the textile industry through these tumultuous times.   The histories of the industry often focus on boardroom decisions and management strategies, so that the voices of workers who experienced the consequences of these decisions remain largely hidden.  Although they were not in control, they experienced both changes in working practices and the consequences of management decisions at first hand.  It remains difficult to capture the voice of any workforce.  Theirs are accounts not usually recorded, and seldom set down on paper. Newspaper articles and trade union records can shed some light, but they seldom convey the experience of daily working life in the round.  How did the workers receive their news about the company? Was there a staff newsletter?  Were they consulted or did they feel ignored? And what about the social part of work? Did they have a company sports team or a social club? Where did they go for a drink after work?   Just a few of the questions that the Textile Tales project would like to ask of its participants in this unique opportunity to hear the answers from those who were actually there.

The Textile Tales project builds on the previous work of lots of more tightly focussed projects. Knitting Together, a largely Leicester-focused project from 2001, Made in Mansfield/Mills, Machines and Memories, Mansfield Museum’s 2017 project to learn more about the town’s textile industry, Nottingham Museums’ Lace Unravelled and NTUs Nottingham Lace: Capturing and Representing Knowledge in people, Machines, and Documents, both of which focused specifically on the lace trade, are just four of these projects. What they all showed is that there is clear demand among former textile workers to engage with their heritage, to make contact with other workers, pass on their knowledge and share their stories. Therefore, Textile Tales aims to build on projects like these, filling in the gaps, adding to the information and joining it up to see the ‘big picture’ of textile heritage in the region. People had huge pleasure in recollection, pride in their achievements and wanted to see more recognition of the industry.

The Textile Tales project was created through a successful Heritage Lottery Funding bid from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a donation from the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters.
This project created a working network and partnership of museums, universities, businesses and East Midlands History & Heritage, bringing together key expertise and knowledge in this field of research.

Textile Tales Project Sponsors

Heritage Fund logo

Our Team

The Textile Tales Team have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the textile industry

Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode is Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design at Nottingham Trent University.  She published the key text book Printed Textile Design with Laurence King Publishers.  Amanda, for the last 10 years has worked with the lace archive which is held within the school and she leads the lace heritage research group.  She co-organised a season of Nottingham wide events called Lace: Here: Now in 2013 which included exhibitions, film showings, lace making and lectures across the main cultural venues in Nottingham.  In 2018, she curated an exhibition “Lace Unarchived” which includes work from the NTU archive and from designers, artists and manufacturers of Nottingham Lace.

Dr Tom Fisher’s abiding interest in the history of technology is built on his background in art history and design practice.  He has run several projects about textiles with Amanda Briggs-Goode that build on the Nottingham Trent University lace archive which have brought together acamedics and museum experts to look at the textile heritage of the East Midlands.  Most recently, he has developed the Textile Tales projects funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to collect oral histories from textile workers.

Tonya is the Research Fellow for the Textile Tales project.  She brings a wealth of experience in her work as the Project Officer for the Lace Unravelled Project at Nottingham Museums, focusing on the textile industry’s hidden history and family generational links through interviews with workers.

Liz has in interest in oral histories as she is currently studying for a MA in Museum and Heritage Development at Nottingham Trent University.

Liz Warren

Research Assistant

Tonya Outtram

Research Fellow

Dr Tom Fisher

Dr Tom Fisher

Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode

Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode

Privacy Notice

Your privacy and protection of your personal information is very important to us and we are committed to robust compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act 2018.This privacy notice explains what we do with your personal information, your rights and how we protect it. This notice is for all individuals involved in the Textile Tales Project for which Nottingham Trent University is the lead partner.

The Textile Tales Project is a project which will collect stories of works within the textile industry with a view to preserving those stories for future generations and is delivered in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, by a consortium of partners, of which Nottingham Trent University is the Lead Partner.

The consortium partners delivering the project are: University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, John Smedley Ltd, Leas Mills, Lea Bridge, Matlock, Derbyshire, Framework Knitters Museum, Chapel Street, Ruddington, Nottingham, NG11 6HE, Nottingham City Council, Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG, The Erewash Museum, High Street, Ilkeston, DE7 5JA and Mansfield Museum, Leeming Street, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 1NG

Who we are

We are Nottingham Trent University of 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FQ, along with our Project Partners – details above, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters. Further information about how the The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters hold and manage personal data can be found on their website – links above.

For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation, NTU is the Data Controller in respect of personal information processed as a result of participation in the project.

You can find us in the Information Commissioner’s register of organisations who have paid the Data Controller fee here.

If you have any questions about the use of your personal information, or wish to exercise your rights, please contact:

Tonya Outtram – Research Fellow, Nottingham Trent University, Email: textiletales@ntu.ac.uk, Tracy Landon – Legal Services Manager and Data Protection Officer, Email: DPO@ntu.ac.uk

We may need to update this Privacy Notice from time to time. If changes made to this Privacy Notice are considered to be material, we will notify you of the changes.

The Personal Information we hold on participants/volunteers

NTU and our Consortium Partners are committed to the responsible handling and protection of personal information. As a participant, you may be involved in the project directly with NTU or through one of our Consortium Partners. We will hold a range of information relating to participants to enable us to manage and deliver the project. This includes:

  • Your name and contact details, such as address, telephone number and email address;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Professional experience and stories about your work in the textile industry;
  • Equal opportunity and diversity monitoring information such as ethnicity, disability status, age and gender identity;
  • Your attendance and participation in the project;
  • Your photographs where you are participating in project activity or have provided them to us for the project;

We will also collect business details such where you worked within the textile industry and your role at the time.

Why we process your personal information

We process the personal information of individual participants to enable to volunteer within the project, to enable us to collect stories about the textile industry which enables us to deliver the project. The lawful basis for undertaking the project is task in the public interest. Where we may wish to collect information additional to that required by the project, we will rely on your consent to do so.

How we use your personal information

We will use your personal information for the administration of your involvement in the project, to enable you to volunteer and to keep in touch with you, and to provide you with information about the project and the benefits available to you.

We will also use your information to provide statistics through the research undertaken as part of the project. This will be through anonymisation; you will not be able to withdraw consent with regard to participation in the project after this point.

Sharing your personal information

Some or all of the Personal information relating to participants in the project will be shared with the Consortium Partners. NTU, as the Project Lead Partner, will hold all personal information provided as part of an individual’s involvement within the project.

Personal information will be shared with the funders of the project and will be used to evaluate the project and report to NTU and any required statutory body for monitoring purposes. Your personal information may also be shared with research organisations working on behalf of our project funders who may contact you during or following your involvement in a project for research purposes.

In addition, personal information will be shared with external project auditors and project evaluators for the purposes of checking eligibility, compliance with funding rules and for audit purposes.

Your personal information will not be shared for commercial or marketing purposes.

Where necessary we will share information required by law or in the public interest, with, for example, the police or HM Revenue and Customs, any relevant regulator or to exercise or defend our legal rights.

Where information is shared outside the European Economic Area we will ensure appropriate safeguards are in place such as contractual controls and (for US-based Companies) the Privacy Shield Scheme.

Anonymised data is likely to form part of a research publication, conference presentation or public talk.

Retaining your personal information

We will not store your personal information for longer than is necessary. NTU will ensure that our partners and selected third parties with whom we share your personal information in accordance with this Privacy Notice will retain your personal information in line with the requirements of the funding body and will delete your personal information when they no longer require it.

Security of your personal information

We and our collaborative partners have in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed.

Your rights

You have a range of rights over your personal information. Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you.
  • Request correction of any inaccuracies relating to your personal information we hold about you.
  • Request erasure or deletion of your personal information when it is no longer required.

If you wish to exercise your personal data rights or have any questions about how we use your data, please get in touch using the contact details at the top of this Privacy Notice.

If you believe that we have failed to manage your personal data appropriately, you have the right to complain to the statutory regulator – The Information Commissioner’s Office. The ICO contact details are: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

How to contact us

Should you have any queries, suggestions or issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Textile Tales Project Consortium on textiletales@ntu.ac.uk, or you can write to us at the following address:

Textile Tales Project, College of Art, Architecture, Design and Humanities, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham,   NG1 4BU


Nottingham Trent University Cookie Policy

Nottingham Trent University web policies can be found here. https://www.ntu.ac.uk/policies/web-policies/privacy-statement