Hannah Lamb

work in progress by Hannah Lamb, inspired by Bradford College Textile Archive collections

"In the Bradford Textile Archive one brown archival box represents the working life of Bradford textile designer Mr George Arnold Stead 1893-1975. Working for Lister’s Mills in Manningham, these documents represent his personal record of designs created  during a lifetime in textiles. The box also contains mementos and pamphlets from the mill.

Condetail of one of the notebooks from Bradford College's Textile Archive collections which inspired Hannah's work  tained in notebooks and lengths of graph or ‘point’ paper are numerous designs for woven textiles represented in technical weave notation as ‘drafts’ and ‘lifting plans’. As an embroiderer I see this notation in a very different way to weavers; without the specialist knowledge to interpret the designs, the squares and grids become pure pattern, reminiscent of cross-stitch designs.

For this work a length of Mr Stead’s point paper designs is interpreted as a ‘ghost’ of the original, stripped of its original meaning. The use of stitch references the largely forgotten manufacture of sewing and embroidery threads in Bradford, of which Lister’s was a world leader before the 1930’s."