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Talk: The Industrial Revolution in the East Midlands – The Textile Industry at Nottingham Industrial Museum

Saturday, 17 March @ 12:00 pm - 3:45 pm

Normal entry charges apply

Talk and Demonstration: The Industrial Revolution in the East Midlands – The Textile Industry

We will be holding 45-minute talks and demonstrations at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm as part of ‘Lace Unravelled’, a season of events, exhibitions and artist commissions to celebrate 18 months’ research into Nottingham City Museums and Galleries world-class Lace and Lace Machinery collections.


In 2014, Arts Council England recognised Nottingham City Museums & Galleries’ Lace Collection and Lace Machinery (displayed at Nottingham Industrial Museum) as being of outstanding value, identifying it as a pre-eminent collection of national and international importance, based on its quality and significance.

The collections tell the distinctive story of the city’s industrial and textile past and explains how a domestic craft became an important mass market commodity. The lace industry was at the cutting edge of technology, one which moved production and people away from the home and countryside, and into factories in the new urban environment. In the process, it made the town of Nottingham world famous as the centre of the trade.

Whilst important both culturally and aesthetically, lace’s primary significance lies in its being the first machine mass produced luxury goods. The development of the industry can be regarded as a key element in what can be called the ‘democratization of taste’ – permitting beautiful products of a consistent, repeatable quality to be created, making them inexpensive and available to all.

Colin Moss is one of Nottingham Industrial Museum’s Volunteer Guides and his talk will describe the history of the industry from earliest times up to the present day. He will show how Nottingham played a pivotal role in the lace industry and how the today’s world-wide industry has its foundations in technology developed in the East Midlands.

As part of Colin’s talk, he will demonstrate the recently restored Leavers Lace Machine – built by John Leavers, this particular machine was in use in Ilkeston until the 1960s. Leavers began designing lace machines in 1813. Our example is a later one that incorporated the Jacquard card mechanism to produce patterned lace and it will be the first time it has been run in over 50 years.

The duration of the talk is approximately 45min and all the museum galleries will be available for you explore.

The free talk is included as part of the normal museum entry charge (Adults: £3.00, Concessions: £2.00, Children: free entry). Wollaton Hall and Deer Park normal car parking charges apply.


Did you know: Private weekday group tours of the museum and the exhibition are available to pre-book for specialist interest groups and local history societies – please email tours@nottinghamindustrialmuseum.co.uk for more information.

Normal Wollaton Hall and Deer Park car parking charges apply.

Wheelchair and pram access throughout the museum (apart from the upper observation decks in the Steam Hall).


Saturday, 17 March
12:00 pm - 3:45 pm
Normal entry charges apply
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Nottingham Industrial Museum
Wollaton Park
Nottingham, NG8 2AE United Kingdom
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0115 915 3936