Embroiderers and stitchers needed to collaborate on Brigid McLeer Collateral

Posted: 29th June 2021

For British Textile Biennial 2021 artist Brigid McLeer creates  a memorial to the hundreds of workers who die in factories and sweatshops across the world that supply the global garment industry. Made in collaboration with local embroiderers and inspired by a large-scale lace panel from the Gawthorpe Textile Collection commemorating the Battle of Britain, the work will be a moving testament to the lives lost to feed the West’s seemingly bottomless appetite for fast fashion.

The new embroidered panel will be 450cms x 163cms and around three of its four sides will be a 10cm wide border with a repeated motif. The motif re-draws the repeated pattern of wheat sheaves depicted on the Battle of Britain lace panel, as a repeated pattern of bodies, wrapped in fabric and laid out on the ground, drawn from a photograph of victims taken after the Kader Industrial factory fire in 1993.

We are looking for embroiderers and stitchers to embroider one or more of these images, which will then be combined with over a hundred others to form the border of the Collateral panel; becoming a collective act of recognition, and a call for change. The template is simple and could be completed by anyone with basic stitching skills.

By choosing to embroider one (or more) of these images you are giving a special kind of time to remembering these forgotten victims.

The finished work will be presented at Queen Street Mill, Burnley as part of the British Textile Biennial this October

If you would like to take part or would like further information please email Lydia McCaig lydia@superslowway.org.uk

Fabric, thread and a full set of instructions with a template will be sent to you. Deadlines for submission is Sunday 8th August 2021  


Can I do more than one drawing?

Yes. You can do as many as you like. Please specify how many you want to do when you request further information, then enough fabric and thread will be sent to you.

Do I need specific embroidery experience to do the stitching?

You will need to have basic stitching experience.The drawing is very simple and can be reproduced by just following the outlines using basic hand-stitching. More experienced embroiderers can add more complex stitching if you wish to. Suggestions for stitches are included in the instructions.

Do I need any additional equipment to do the embroidery?

We will supply fabric, thread and template. You will need an embroidery hoop and a water erasable pen to draw the image onto the fabric.

Can I use both the Organdie and the Cotton fabric, or do I need to choose only one?

You can use either or both fabrics. The main fabric used on the panel will be Organdie, but the border can use Organdie or Cotton, ora combination of both if appliqué is used.

Can I use other types of fabric and thread?

No. Please only use the fabric and threads supplied. If you run out or need more you can contact us and we will provide extra.

The template drawing has coloured lines. Does this mean the embroidery should be in colour?

No. The embroidered piece is all white. White fabric and thread. Please do not add any colour.
The colour on the drawing is just to aid the instructions.

Should I erase the template drawing from the fabric before returning the finished embroidery?
Yes please remove all traces of the template drawing from the fabric before returning.

Do I need to cut the embroidered drawing to size before returning?

You can either cut and secure the edges of the embroidery along the red outline, or you can simply stitch that outline and send the whole piece back to us and we will cut it.

What should I do with the embroidered panel once I’m finished?

Please return it to Lydia McCaig at Super Slow Way in the SAE provided. And include your name, and contact details so we can keep track of who has done which piece.

When does the embroidery need to be done by?

The deadline for sending back completed embroidery panels is Aug 8th 2021. If you think you may need more time please let us know as soon as possible.

When will I be able to see the final work with all the border embroideries attached?

The final embroidery panel, Collateral, will be exhibited as part of the British Textile Biennial 2021 at Queen Street Mill, Burnley from 1st – 31st Oct. 2021


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