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Based in the School of Design and underpinned by research excellence in textiles at the University of Leeds, the Yorkshire Fashion Archive is a publically accessible collection of haute couture, fashion garments and everyday clothing. It provides a unique historical and cultural record of Yorkshire life and documents clothing produced, purchased and worn by Yorkshire folk throughout the 20th Century. The collection reflects changing social attitudes and multi-cultural influences, economic prosperity, global trends and the regional technical excellence in textiles and clothing over a 100 year period.

Many of the garments have been donated with accompanying photographic images, information and anecdotes concerning the piece itself, the wearer or the situations in which they were worn. As we progress further into the 21st century, it is imperative that we continue to gather evidence of Yorkshire history from this new perspective before the voices are lost forever. To develop and support the findings, film footage will be examined through collaboration with the Yorkshire Film Archive.

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The Synthetics Revolution

** Join us for our Autumn relaunch event on Tuesday 4th October, 5.45pm – 7pm at ULITA (see address below).  Professor Regina Lee Blaszczyk, from the Enterprise of Culture, will be talking about how the world’s largest chemical company, Dupont, influenced post-war fashion.**

‘The Synthetics Revolution’
This new exhibition is a collaboration between the Yorkshire Fashion Archive, ULITA and the Enterprise of Culture project at the University of Leeds.

Drawing on two University of Leeds archives (Yorkshire Fashion Archive and ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles) this exhibition explores the rise of synthetic fibres in everyday clothing in the 20th Century with particular reference to the Yorkshire region.  The exhibition also explores how the introduction of synthetic fibres into a predominantly woollen manufacturing area had an impact on the lives of its inhabitants and changed the face of the textile industry in the region.

Location: ULITA

St Wilfred’s Chapel, Maurice Keyworth Building

Moorland Road

University of Leeds



Open 22nd June – 21st July / 4th October – 1st December 2016 (August / September by appointment)

Tuesday to Thursday 9.30am – 16.30pm


© Copyright Leeds 2018