Pinning The Past – Bankfield Museum

Pinning The Past with Ruth Singer

For the next few months, Pinning the Past will be focussing on museums with marvellous textiles to see.

Bankfield Museum in Halifax, Yorkshire is one of those old fashioned museum treasures. I worked somewhere similar when I first graduated and have a real fondness for a proper Victorian small town museum. Because of the history of textile production in the area, Bankfield has a specialism in textiles which make it an ideal place for the fabric geek to stop off. It isn’t huge, but can occupy the textile-lover for an hour or two and is ideally-placed as part of a textile-heritage tour of West Yorkshire.

Are You Ready For Adventure?

As with most museums, Bankfield has a far larger collection than can possibly be shown, so researchers will want to make an appointment to see specific items in the collections. The museum’s first curator, in the 19th century, amassed an impressive collection of textile production tools from around the world including spinning & weaving equipment, knitting machinery and lacemaking tools, some of which are on display.

According to an old book, they have textiles and tools from across the world and throughout history from mummy wrappings to Japanese kimono silk. There are good, general displays of world textile techniques and, when I visited, some stunning embroidered Middle Eastern clothing. The costume gallery was closed for refurbishment when I visited, but I am sure it will be full of delights.

The museum is open 10am-4pm Tues to Sat and is free. Photography is also allowed!


Ruth Singer Books – Get yours from our Amazon store!

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Fabric Manipulation: 150 Creative Sewing Techniques by Ruth Singer
Fabric Manipulation: 150 Creative Sewing Techniques


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Sew Eco: Sewing Sustainable and Re-Used Materials by Ruth Singer
Sew Eco: Sewing Sustainable and Re-Used Materials


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Sew It Up: A Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing by Ruth Singer
Sew It Up: A Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing


Ruth Singer

Ruth Singer creates detailed and intriguing textile artworks inspired by historical textiles, museum objects, personal heritage, memory and stories. She uses natural and recycled textiles combined with hand stitching as well as fabric manipulation techniques to create detailed surface texture. She also writes books on textiles and sewing and teaches in her own studio as well as freelance.

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