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Welcome to Britain's Premier Textile Society

Established in 1893, the Bradford Textile Society is the oldest textile society in Britain, if not in the world. Despite all the changes which have taken place in the textile industry since its formation, the Society continues to thrive. Its monthly programme of meetings from October to April provides an opportunity for everyone with an interest in textiles to meet and discuss a range of textile-related topics with an invited speaker.

Design Competition 2016 - 2017

Details of the 2016 - 2017 Bradford Textile Society Design Competiton are now available for download.

President - Bill Skidmore

Bradford Textile Society President - Bill SkidmoreBill Skidmore this year (2014) celebrates fifty four years working and being involved with Apparel and Textiles.

After leaving Wath upon Dearne Grammar School, and not being able to study Art and Design at college due to geographical reasons he started work for Prices Tailors, later part of United Drapery Stores. Wanting to eventually join the window display team, he had to serve his time learning about the tailoring side and the retail business before joining the now referred to as ‘Visual Merchandisers’.

Over the next seventeen years, Bill worked in both menswear and ladies fashions where he held posts of Company Display Training Officer and finally Marketing Director for a chain of 77 Lady’s Fashion Stores.

He then decided to change direction with the opportunity to going back to full time education as a mature student. He spent the next six years studying for a double degree in both History of Art and Textiles, finally finishing with Post Graduate studies.

While still a ‘student’ he was doing part-time lecturing at several FE Colleges, in Retail Distribution and also Photography. However, his aim was to attract younger people into his passion for Art, Design and Textiles, so he started teaching 11 to 18 year students. He stayed in secondary education, achieving a Head of Department role, before taking early retirement.

After retiring Bill was able to devote more time to research and designing. Not only has he been involved in woven structures, but also knit, surface design, embroidery and lace. He has used a wide range of fibres from silk and viscose to worsted and heavy duty mohair for warp faced rugs.

He has been involved in mentoring students at colleges and universities as far afield as Paris. He has taught life drawing, given lectures in Paris and had an exhibition of his work there. However, promoting textile education has always been a passion.

Bill has sat on many different committees and has been chairman of  several organisations devoting many hours to charity work. He is very much involved with the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, editing their magazine along with a new post of editing Sheep Breeder. He recently was awarded a Silver Woolsack for outstanding work for the Livery Company. In all Bill does, he is assisted by Jean his wife; they work has a team.

In the past he has received  a number of awards, for yarn designs to a performance leisure wear award  from the Design Council. 


Design Competition

The Society's annual Design Competition, with total prize money of over £10,000, is unique in its breadth of coverage and attracts almost 1,000 entries from students throughout the UK.

Please visit the design competition page for more information.


Membership is open to individual or corporate members. If you would like to apply for membership please download our membership application form here.

For other enquiries please telephone 01274 761787 or use the form on our contact page.


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