The Warner Textile Archive’s annual Textile Fair brings together a diverse group of textile specialists, designers and crafts people across three historic venues in Braintree, Essex.

A one day event celebrating all things textiles we have stallholders, demonstrations, activities, talks, collection store visits, exhibitions and a pop up cafe!

Braintree Town Hall, Warner Textile Archive and Braintree District Museum

Sunday 15th May, 10am – 4pm

Advance tickets: £5.50
On the day tickets: £7.00


A free programme of talks at Braintree District Museum. Tickets are available from Braintree Town Hall.

11am: ‘An Embroiderers Tale’ with Tina Saunders
Tina Saunders is a traditional trained embroiderer and couture dressmaker with nearly twenty years experience culminating in a dream job working for Her Majesty The Queen in The Royal Household at Buckingham Palace.
She now creates bespoke luxury pieces either from her own existing designs or commissioned pieces, everything she does is designed and made by myself from the best quality materials with love of stitching. Join Tina as you learn about her story and her current working practice.

12noon: The History and Development of Coggeshall Lace with Joan Merrifield

2pm: Threads of Time …… A Textile Journey with E.A.S.T
Members of East Anglian Stitch Textiles (E.A.S.T.) will show how artefacts from the Museum’s extensive resources or inspiration taken from the wider Braintree District  were used to design and complete panels of twenty-first century textiles.
The research ranged widely from the Knights Templars and medieval tiles to the twentieth century artist Edward Bawden, including spinning and weaving, straw plaiting, lace and white work and important companies like Courtaulds and Crittall Windows.

3pm: Textile Tales – Made in Shetland with Connie Flynn
In 2011 Connie packed up her home and studio to go and study for a degree in Contemporary Textiles in Shetland. Join her talk as she shares snippets of her experiences; of the challenges of living, studying and making textiles in Shetland.

Connie’s exhibition ‘Shetland Revisited’ will be on display at Braintree Museum from the 3rd – 30th June 2016 Braintree Museum.

Stall holders

A wide range of stall holders selling a selection of textiles, craft supplies and homewares across the Fair will create a unique shopping experience not to be missed. Confirmed stall holders include:
Vanners Silk Weavers –
The Old Bookshop – fashion and costume books,
Blooming Felt – 100% wool felt craft supplies,
Jenpatola – decorative new and vintage hand-made textiles sourced from India,
John Gillow – Asian and African textiles
Annette Rolston – handprinted lino cut designs onto textiles,
Teresa Ward – vintage fabric, lace and haberdashery
Ruth Carter – hand painted silk scarves
Craft Arena – textile supplies,
Helen Webb – large quilts, cushions and home furnishings
Braintree Fabrics – fabrics for a variety of projects
Woolpatch Gallery – wools, fabrics and patchwork supplies,
Jill Beard – quilt making fabrics

Demonstrations and activities

  • Felt making with Connie Flynn at Braintree District Museum
  • Printing using print blocks with E.A.S.T – drop in and have a go at Braintree District Museum
  • Lace bobbin making with Jacqui Barber at the Warner Textile Archive
  • Journals and memory books with Sandie Cottee at the Warner Textile Archive

Exhibitions at Braintree District Museum

Design-2-Stitch ‘Diversity in Focus III’ with the opportunity to meet some of the artists involved.
A contemporary exhibition of textile artists from Coggeshall using art, design, mixed media, print, stitch and weaving.

Designers in Print by the Warner Textile Archive
Inspirational original designs from the Warner Textile Archive, faithfully reproduced as works of art in print. All prints are available to order, prices from £12.00 – £35.00

Collection Store Visits at the Warner Textile Archive
An exclusive opportunity to visit the Collection Store to view a specially selected variety of printed fabrics, paper designs and hand printing blocks that are not on general display.