International Textile Collection

Research and Publications


Professor Barker Peruvian research film, 1926

A digital copy of a 1926 research film created in support of the research of Professor Aldred F. Barker (1868-1964), the third Head of the Department of Textile Industries in the University of Leeds.

The film is associated with the published report ‘The prospective development of Peru: sheep-breeding and wool-growing country’, 1927 (The University of Leeds).

At a meeting in 1920 with Professor Cossar Ewart (Edinburgh University) the idea was formed of the possibility of developing Peru as a wool-growing country They also wanted to prove that Peruvian sheep could thrive in the UK.
The government of Peru already had a model farm at Chuquibambilla, Southern Peru.  In early 1926 Barker accepted an invitation from President Leguia to visit, inspect and report on the 5 year experiment.  He toured other textile production areas of Peru, as well as Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, and brought back several woven textiles, now housed in ULITA.

The majority of the film shows alpaca, llama and sheep at the model farm, but also Professor Barker inspecting the herd and talking with men.

This film was discovered in the collection in 2016, and was digitised in 2017.

There are photographs related to the film in the Archive of the Department of Textile Industries (now part of the University Archive), and the Aldred Barker Archive in Leeds University Library’s Special Collections MS1565.

Catalogue ref: ULITA2017.280
16mm film, 5 minutes 15 seconds, silent, 1926.
Digital transfer from nitrate. Original copy deposited at British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive (N-654297).
Digitisation supported by Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society

Documenting the O’Hear West African Collection, A & H O’Hear

wearing Nigerian weaves

Ann & Hugh O’Hear donated a collection of 68 Nigerian and Ghanaian textiles in 2014.  The O’Hear Collection now makes up a significant part of the West African textiles.

Hugh and Ann first met in 1965, in Nigeria, where both were volunteer teachers in the Western Igbo area. In 1975, Hugh and Ann became lecturers at Kwara State College of Technology, outside Ilorin.

Their collection includes cloth from Western Igbo called ‘Aniocha’,  Ishan cloth, a Hausa blanket, Akwuete cloth, an Aso Oke shirt and other weavers’ samples.  They also bought Nupe women’s weave cloth in Bida, and Ebira women’s weave cloth from northern Bendel State, and numerous Adire and Batik cloths from itinerant Yoruba traders.

Ann researched the local cloth woven by men (Aso Oke: narrow strips woven on a horizontal loom) and women (broad panels woven on a vertical loom).

Since donating their collection the O’Hears have carried out further research in order to create detailed documentation records for each item in the collection.  Ann O’Hear has created supplimentary documents detailing the Adire and Yoruba batiks, research associates and a full bibliography on the subject.

The Analysis, Conservation and Documentation of the Mamluk Garments, J Hyman

The structural analysis, conservation and documentation of the Newberry Collection of Mamluk Garments

Jacqui Hyman

Jacqueline Hyman is a textiles conservator with a long association with the textile collection.

In 2012 after extensive conservation work on the garments in the Egyptian Collection, Jacqui completed her Masters at the School of Design on ‘The structural analysis, conservation and documentation of the Newberry Collection of Mamluk Garments, University of Leeds’.  Details of her research can be seen in ‘Fashion to die for: Children’s clothing from Mamluk Egypt’ in Text. (Journal of the Textile Society) Volume 39: 2011-12 (with permission from the editor).

Jacqui also has a research interest in the collections of Louisa Pesel, particularly her association with the Bradford Khaki Club for recovering WW1 soldiers.

Jacqui has her own business, the Textile Restoration Studio.  She was a textiles student at Leeds University, where she first encountered the textile collections.  Jacqui has carried out preventative conservation work on the major collections, and was instrumental in establishing a volunteer programme of labelling and packing. She has given presentations for ULITA on textiles conservation and aspects of her textiles research, including ‘Healing Stitches – therapeutic needlecraft at times of conflict’.


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