School of Design

ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles


Bali and the Islands of the South East

Date: 7 October 200827 February 2009

The region of Nusa Tenggara is a microcosm of the great diversity of Indonesia. Traditional textile production of staggering variety is found throughout this region. This exhibition aims to reveal some of the diversity and richness of the textiles of this region, based around a number of themes, including functions, ritual, design, production techniques, culture, continuity, decline and innovation. The exhibition is based on the collection of Hywel Coleman OBE, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Education, University of Leeds. He is a consultant to the Ministry of National Education, Indonesia, and has been collecting Indonesian textiles since 1973. Read more »

World Textiles and Yorkshire: Past and Future

Date: 11 June 200818 July 2008

"World Textiles and Yorkshire: Past and Future" is an eighteen-month project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, undertaken by ULITA and their associated partner South Leeds City Learning Centre of Education Leeds.The aim of the project is to encourage school children and adults, of all ages and backgrounds to increase their knowledge of textiles. With the emphasis on design and "making", and with guidance from specialist tutors, one hundred and seventy students researched, designed, and manufactured items. Selections of these are presented in this exhibition, with each display cabinet highlighting the various ways in which the project was interpreted by different groups. Also see Project Details. Read more »

Form, Shape and Space

Date: 10 October 200716 May 2008

'Form, Shape and Space – An Exhibition of Tilings and Polyhedra' is the outcome of research undertaken in the School of Design at the University of Leeds. The project is of great potential significance to the decorative arts and design, and explores a range of geometric concepts of importance to both two- and three-dimensional design. Laser cutting, routing and rapid prototyping equipment have been used in the production of exhibits in etched and constructed form in two- and three-dimensions using resistant materials. The project is concerned with concepts of relevance to pattern, geometric structure, form, shape and proportion, and is truly interdisciplinary in nature. Read more »

Fashion Synergy

Date: 11 May 200722 June 2007

This exhibition presents the results of a project which involved the use of nonwoven fabrics in the production of a range of fashion garments. Although such fabrics have not in the past been favoured for extensive use in outerwear fashion manufacture, recent advances in textile engineering have yielded nonwoven fabrics with favourable draping properties, soft handle, stretch and recovery, all of which are considered essential in everyday garment use. An important basis for this work is the acceptance that modern nonwoven fabrics are truly engineered materials with technical performance and aesthetic characteristics that are routinely "tuned" to meet specific requirements. Unique performance and cost combinations can be achieved when working directly with fabric producers. Many of the exhibits have been created by making close reference to the stylistic characteristics of items from the School of Design's Fashion Archive, which houses an extensive range of 20th century fashions. Read more »

Hand-Crafted Rugs

Date: 1 November 200616 March 2007

Pieces made by the West Riding Ruggers - established in 1988. An exhibition presented at ULITA exploring techniques including knitting, weaving, printing and materials manipulation. Pieces made by the West Riding Ruggers - established in 1988 - include works by groups and by individuals. They ran a series of workshops on rugmaking in ULITA. Read more »

Tactile Textiles

Date: 1 April 200631 May 2006

Textiles created from wool, yarn, wood and even plastic were the subject of this exhibition at ULITA. The exhibits, which were the work of second year BA students in Textile Design at the School of Design, explored techniques including knitting, weaving, form the latest exhibition at ULITA. The exhibition in St Wilfred’s Chapel, the result of work by second year BA students in textile design, explores techniques including knitting, weaving, printing and materials manipulation. Read more »

Decorative Woven Textiles

Date: 1 November 200513 April 2006

Patterns of Culture – Decorative Weaving Techniques

An exhibition presented at ULITA (Curated by ULITA staff, including Mr J. A. Smith and Mrs M. Chalmers, as well as Ms B. Thomas, under the direction of Professor M. A. Hann). To accompany the Exhibition a monograph Decorative Weaving Techniques. Read more »

Mediterranean, Turkish and Aegean Embroideries

Date: 1 April 200512 October 2006

This exhibition presented items selected from the Louisa Pesel Collection of Collected and Created works, one of the Archive’s most important constituent collections. Louisa Frances Pesel was born in Bradford in 1870 and died in Winchester in 1947. During her life time she had amassed a large embroidery collection (comprised of samples from various sources, mainly from Turkey and Greece, as well as notebooks, photographs and lantern slides). This collection, along with various other items (mainly books on art and gardening) was bequeathed to the University of Leeds. She was elected first president of the Embroiderers’ Guild (which celebrates its centenary in 2006). Read more »

Resist Dyed and Printed Textiles

Date: 1 February 200530 September 2005

This exhibition was concerned with certain types of decoration on textiles, produced by the application of dyes in association with other materials. This includes direct printing, using blocks or stencils, and the various resist-dyeing techniques. Direct printing involves the application of colour directly on to the fabric surface, in one process, and does not involve secondary or intermediate processes before the development of the coloured design. The term “resist dyeing” refers to a wide range of techniques used to decorate textiles by selectively dyeing areas on a yarn of fabric’s surface. This selective dyeing is facilitated by folding or knotting, the use of stencils or shields, wrapping thread (or similar material) round folded fabric or hanks of yarn, stitching thread into the fabric and drawing it tight, or applying resist materials such as wax, or paste to the fabric’s surface. Read more »

Qing Dynasty Textiles

Date: 1 May 200431 December 2004

Over the past twenty years, traditional Chinese embroidered and woven textiles have gained increased attention from scholars and researchers, and have become an important focus among art and craft collectors worldwide. The collection of Chinese textiles held by ULITA was assembled several decades before this relatively recent wave of popularity. Professor Aldred Barker, the then recently retired Professor of Textile Industries, travelled to Shanghai in the 1930s to advise on the establishment of an educational institution dedicated to the study of textiles. It appears that the bulk of ULITA’s Chinese collection was acquired by Barker at that time. Considering the fashionable popularity of Chinese textiles in recent years the opening of ULITA in new premises in May 2004 was an opportune setting to display items from this truly magnificent collection. Read more »

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