HRH The Princess Royal launches British Textile Week
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has officially opened British Textile Week, a digital showcase of the craftsmanship, creativity and technical skills of the UK textile industry, in her role as President of UKFT.
She said: “While 2020 has been a difficult year on a number of levels, the British textile industry has taken the opportunity to make use of new technology to promote itself to a far wider audience. As we launch the first ever British Textile Week the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has brought the length and breadth of British textiles and textile design together so that we can celebrate their talent and expertise and their unique contribution to the economy and the quality of our daily lives.
“The week would not have been possible without the generous support of the Clothworkers’ Company and the Campaign for Wool.
“The United Kingdom is renowned around the world for the quality and originality of its textiles – ranging from the world’s most sought-after cashmere to the finest worsted wool, luxurious tweeds and silks, and distinctive tartans – all of us know this. Less well known perhaps is that the UK is also home to extraordinary textile designers, colourists and technologists inspired but not constrained by our history. The UK is at the forefront of inventing new and more sustainable ways of spinning and dyeing fabric and produces innovative technical textiles and performance fabrics which are used across a wide range of sectors including medical, defence and aerospace.
“UK textile mills supply quality, sustainable textiles from the high street, right up to British and international designers, from Marks & Spencer to Paul Smith, not forgetting Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, the tailors in Savile Row and the next generation of smaller tailors and brands. Their passion for using and supporting British textiles is truly inspiring.
“British textiles are exported all around the world to United Arrows Japan, Paul Stuart New York, Ralph Lauren to name but a few. And we also supply, maybe slightly more discreetly, a large number of prestigious French and Italian luxury houses with textiles made right here in the UK.
“In my work as President of UKFT, I have also visited numerous textile mills throughout the country. Recent visits have included Harris Tweed Hebrides, Lochcarron and Alex Begg in Scotland (pictured above), Mourne Textiles in Northern Ireland, Corgi in Wales and Luxury Fabrics in Yorkshire. Wherever I go, I am always impressed at the mills’ commitment to quality, sustainability and creating beautiful products as well as investing in stable employment for so many skilled workers.
“The UK has a strong textile heritage and a promising future – and has demonstrated its ability to adapt and reinvent itself. In the UK 4,800 people from both home and abroad study textiles at university each year on courses including textile design, technology and engineering.
“There is much to be proud of and celebrate and I am delighted to be able to launch the first British Textile Week and wish you all much success.”
UKFT’s British Textile Week is a digital showcase of the craftsmanship, imagination and innovation of the UK textile industry.