Bradford College Textile Archive

Black and white image of textile archive

Bradford College has a large archive of textiles such as fine silk jacquards, rayon, velvets, mohair and woollens and worsteds dating back 150 years.

The College played a key role in teaching textile workers in the nineteenth century, and we have lots of work by students and teachers.

The pattern books from the industry collections offer a glimpse into the fashions of the past:

  • tiny calico prints of the 1780s
  • large bright designs of 1850s crinoline fabrics
  • new colours made through the growth of the synthetic dye industry in the 19th century
  • figured gauze fabrics of 1900
  • early 20th-century synthetic fabrics
  • kitsch designs of the 1950s
pattern book

Our archive includes:

  • twenty-six bound volumes of ‘Textile Fabrics of India’, showing the strong ties between the Bradford Textile industry and the Indian subcontinent
  • student workbooks from the mid to late Victorian period
  • textbooks, journals and other printed publications
  • about 10,000 samples from manufacturers’ pattern books
  • fabric sample books including the collections of Hind Robinson and Denholme Velvets
  • records, minute books, ledgers and cash books from textile companies
  • French trends services Les Tissus dating from 1882, Bilbille from 1910 and The Americas Collection of the 1940s and 50s
  • industry journals ‘The Wool Record’ and ‘The Textile Manufacturer’ from 1878

The archive is the custodian of the archives of the Society of Dyers and Colourists, including the Turkey Red Collection.

Visit the archive

You can see the archive, go to a talk or workshop.

The archive is a prized resource for researchers and Bradford College students.

Find out more

For more details:

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