Part of Bradford’s industrial history will be brought back to life thanks to a £50,000 lottery grant.
The Fabric of Bradford is a Shipley-based project to allow the whole spectrum of the community to work together and grow “dye gardens” containing the various plants and flowers used for colouring during the region’s boom years.
The project, set to launch early next year, will work with both youth and elderly groups, families, and people with mental health problems, and organisers hope it will help weave together different parts of the community that may not normally interact.
Run by charity Hive, based at Kirkgate, the two-year project will involve 120 people growing various dyes in the charity’s allotment, hand dyeing fabrics and using traditional manufacturing techniques, all while learning about the region’s industrial history.
They were awarded the £49,700 grant for the project from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and will work in partnership with Colour Experience, Bradford Community Environment Project, and Bradford Museums and Galleries.
Among the natural dyes grown on the allotment will be Indigo and Woad.
The group also hopes their garden inspires people to live a more sustainable future, less reliant on products made hundreds of miles away that could easily be grown at home.
Hive Project co-ordinator Claire Wellesley-Smith said the grant would help re-connect people with the area’s history, adding: “It is a real hands-on learning experience of how colour was used before synthetics were introduced in the mid 19th century.
“There will be sessions where younger people and older people work together to make things that will later be included in an exhibition.
“The grant that we have received will be invaluable in engaging a large number of local people with the textile heritage of our area. The history of the dyeing industry in Bradford is fascinating and we can’t wait to get started with this hands-on programme of activities.”
Activities begin early next year. Any groups wanting to take part can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.