Glossop’s rich textile heritage – we need your help!

Commissioned by Glossop Creates to delve into the town’s textile heritage, printmaker and designer Lauren Riley tells us more about her project and why she needs your help…

Hello, I’m Lauren, a designer, printmaker and researcher from Glossop. I studied at the University of Huddersfield, where I graduated in 2012 with a BA (hons) Costume with Textiles, after some time in industry returned to complete an MA in Fashion Textile Practices in 2020 where I discovered a passion for research in creative community engagement and place-making. 

Since graduating from my Masters, I’ve been the face behind Lauren Riley Design. I create prints for home decor and textiles, exploring my personal style. My practice includes four key values: Biophilic design, colour, wellbeing, and the Peak District. Each value plays into each other, but ultimately I intend to create art that encourages appreciation for our natural environments, promoting positive emotional responses into the home through carefully considered colour palettes, natural textures, and themes. I also work collaboratively with other creatives and organisations on research and development projects. Most recently, I’ve been working alongside the Glossop Creates team and I’m excited to share some of the progress we’ve been making.

Creative project – delving deeper

The Glossop Creates commissioning programme has invited me to take part in their “PAIRINGS” project, focusing on the theme, Textile Heritage. I intend to carry out a creative project that will engage with the community, delving into the rich and diverse textile heritage of our town. Glossop has so much interesting heritage, however, one particular topic has taken us down a rabbit hole. Through some great conversations with Steven, Glossop Creates Community Producer and members of the creative community, we became aware of Edmund Potter, of Edmund Potter & Co, Dinting Vale Printworks – one of the largest calico printing mills in the world stood right here in Glossop. That’s already quite exciting, however, if you don’t already know, and think that name sounds familiar, that’s because it is – Edmund Potter, was the paternal grandfather of the world famous Beatrix Potter!

Visiting Derbyshire Record Office 

Recently, we were lucky enough to have visited the Derbyshire Record Office over in Matlock, where they have an amazing archive on Edmund Potter and his Dinting Vale Printworks. For us, the most inspiring items in their archives are the pattern books! These are record books that hold sample swatches of all the prints and designs that were made in the Printworks. It amazed us how well preserved some of these swatches were and how vibrant they remain, considering some were over 120 years old! 

As well as working with Derbyshire Records office, I’ve also been working with Kate Raine, at Glossop Heritage Trust, and am in touch with other archives in the UK (such as The Whitworth, V&A and Kew Gardens) and even America. It appears there’s some history missing on Edmund Potter, and we’re keen to see that this project will uncover so much more and acknowledge Edmund Potter’s contribution to our town.

Dinting Vale Printworks – can you share stories and photographs?

We would really love for the entire community to get involved in this project so that we can piece together a comprehensive history of the Dinting Vale Printworks. I am currently working on the research and development stages and in time I will reach out to the creative community here, to get involved in what could turn into an exhibition of this research. We hope that showcasing Glossop’s creative past can inspire the people that live here today. In the meantime, myself and the Glossop Creates team are keen to know what the community thinks about this project, or even if there are any stories or information you might have to share about the Dinting Vale Printworks which could help us map out this wonderful local creative history. Do you have stories, info or photos you’d be willing to share? Is there anything you’d like to find out more about with this project? If so, please email Lauren directly at laurenrileydesign@hotmail.com

An old sample book