LEFTOVER textiles from a Haworth business, which made regimental flags for King Charles III’s Coronation, have been used to create totem poles at a local school.

For almost 60 years, fourth generation family business Wyedean has specialised in the manufacture of military uniforms and ceremonial accoutrements, including fabrics for medals, military badges and braiding.

Based in Bridgehouse Mill in Haworth, Wyedean produces 1.5million ceremonial uniform regalia and insignia items each year and this summer was awarded the contract to manufacture the British Armed Forces’ new regimental flags that followed the King’s Coronation procession.

With 20 in-house staff who weave, braid and hand craft, Managing Director Robin Wright said it’s important to the team that any leftover materials are reused and recycled: “Our products are rich in tradition, history and heritage so it’s fitting that any waste items such as medal ribbons and cones, webbing, laces and cardboard tubes continue their useful life by bringing pleasure and excitement to local children and inspiring creativity. We donate textile waste to around 10 local schools each year, for everything from parades and plays to events like Arts Week.”

The latest use for Wyedean’s textile waste was to make a hall full of totem poles at Stanbury Village School as part of its Art Week. More than 100 pupils aged three to 11 got creative.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:  Grandma Susan Waind, pupil Annie Walbank, mum Susannah Walbank and pupil Erin Ryan Grandma Susan Waind, pupil Annie Walbank, mum Susannah Walbank and pupil Erin Ryan (Image: Stephen Garnett)

Teacher Emma Dowson said: “For two days we had pupils and their families in school creating and assembling totem poles - made possible thanks to the donation of cardboard tubes, cones, poles, ribbons and webbing from Wyedean.

“This is very much a community event, an activity which starts in class and continues when families are invited in to work with the children. Budgets are stretched in schools and what funds we have are prioritised for key areas of teaching. So when we receive fantastic donations like these vibrant materials, it really brings our activities to life.”

Wyedean was founded in Haworth in 1964 by David Wright, who ran the business with his father Frank Wright, a former textile machine designer awarded an MBE in recognition of his invention of a yarn spinning technique; centrifugal spinning. Today the business is chaired by David’s wife Norma, 98, with her son, Managing Director Robin, his wife, Sales Director Debra, and their daughters Business Development Director Rosie and Systems Project Manager Susannah Walbank.

Susannah, whose children Annie and Arthur attend Stanbury Village School, said: “We love to see the imaginative creations made by children across the district from items we no longer have use for. We’re very aware of the need for reducing textile waste so to see our leftover fabrics, tubes, cones and ribbons being reused in schools is rewarding.”

Many of Wyedean’s outputs have not changed in hundreds of years. The manufacturing process have evolved though. Sashes and other items of insignia for the Royal Household Regiment were traditionally made using silk and pure gold thread which became unsustainable in modern manufacturing, so Wyedean developed a synthetic version of the sash in the 1990s.

Clients include the Armed Forces, the Metropolitan Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian Armed Forces.