Museum of Carpet to roll out the history in Kidderminster

By Culture24 Reporter | 19 October 2012
A photo of a doll wearing a bright blue dress inside a museum space
A catwalk at the new Museum of Carpet in Kidderminster© All photos: Rachel Cockett
Opening: Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster, October 20 2012

At the centre of the country’s newest museum, a loom rolls. Dozens of volunteers have used it during the past few months, weaving the "exciting and emotional" way to a long-awaited carpet heritage centre.

Three bespoke carpets, worth £15,000 but given away by Brockway, one of the companies continuing Kidderminster’s proud floor-softening lineage, cover the floor. And machines, computers you can design your own carpet with and a colourful timeline also feature at the Stour Vale Mill venue, a Grade II-listed, 19th century building neighbouring a supermarket.

The Museum of Carpet has been a while in the making, having first been mooted in 1981, when two local manufacturers and a solicitor sized up its feasibility.

An exhibition from the Bowes Museum, hosted in the town during the 1990s, increased public awareness, and the Carpet Museum Trust – founded in 2000 – eventually won £1.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund four years ago.

Built in 1855, the Mill became the first purpose-built loom carpet factory in the world under the watch of the Mayor of Kidderminster. Two centuries on, it is now a fitting home for seven galleries, an Archives Centre, a Library and several mountains of wool.

More pictures:

A photo of people milling around a gallery featuring various exhibits to do with textiles
A photo of a large steel machine designed to make carpets with inside a gallery space
A photo of a series of yarns in rows carrying fabric threads on them within a gallery
A photo of a logo featuring an illustration of a ram and the words museum of carpet
A photo of large yarns of wool inside wooden boxes within a gallery space
A photo of a computer screen showing possible carpet designs to play with in a gallery
A photo of a banner in orange and yellow for power loom carpet weavers and workers
A photo of a large timeline sculpture showing moments from textile history in a gallery
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