Experts recreate demob wool suit in tribute to Leeds’s textile heritage

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By Ninder Kaur

 A dapper demob suit from 1945 in being recreated by experts in a tribute to Leeds’s textile heritage.

The unique project which has been put forward by the Leeds Industrial Museum and Yorkshire Textiles has seen the classic Burton’s suit remade by specialists working with cloth created using traditional vintage looms.

The original suit  is currently on display in the museum’s Tailoring Gallery, with the new projectdemobsuit set to be completed in time for the start of the Campaign for Wool’s Wool Week on October 5.

The project came about after Yorkshire Textiles and Armley Mills launched their own bespoke cloth last year using museum looms in a bid to showcase the mill’s heritage. The results are now being used to make the new suit.

Experts including master weaver Greg Kotvos, bespoke tailors Carl Stuart of Ossett and leading textile finishers WT Johnsons in Huddersfield have used the  eco British wool yarn, developed by Laxtons of Guiseley in Leeds, to put the new creation together.

Suzy Shepherd of Yorkshire Textiles said: “Burton’s is synonymous with Leeds’s tailoring and textile heritage – we wanted to produce an authentic garment but with an updated luxury edge by using lighter shades for the cloth and bespoke details for the jacket.

“In using this very special innovative wool yarn, the skills of weaver Greg Kotvos and bespoke tailors Carl Stuart of Ossett we wanted to highlight the many processes that are part of producing the end garment and bring new life to the museum piece.”

Demob suits were a suit of civilian clothes given to a man on his demobilisation from the British armed forces at the end of the Second World War.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “This project is a brilliant tribute to the city’s tailoring and textile heritage, which stretches back over 200 years and has seen us make a massive contribution to the industry and its history.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the finished suit and with the contemporary knowledge and expertise that has gone into its creation, I’m sure it will be a fitting celebration of both our past and present.”

Leeds Industrial Museums  was once the world’s largest woollen mill and gave visitors a chance to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives.

 

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