Successful student opportunities programme funded by Art Fund completed at the Warner Textile Archive.

Our student team, funded by Art Fund, hosted a popular talk to share their research and display on the 1920s collections that they have been working to catalogue over the past few months. The students came from a range of universities across the UK, and included recent graduates as well as PhD candidates.

The students were trained on-site in core collections management processes and procedures, and then supported to research key events and the development of textile design in the 1920s.

The team of five students have made improvements to our records and provided us with comprehensive research which will allow us to share information in the future for events and exhibitions. Working with the students was a really rewarding experience for our team, as we were able to see the placement students flourish through learning new skills and becoming more knowledgeable on the subject matter that they were engaging with.

The project culminated in the launch of a new display at the Warner Textile Archive, based on the cataloguing and research that the students completed, alongside a talk to highlight the eclectic mix of textile production in the 1920s.

We continue to offer work experience placements to students wanting to learn heritage skills within a textile collection context. The project funded by Art Fund allowed us to broaden our reach to a more diverse student audience, and widen the scale by facilitating five students working on one project.

What some of the students said about their time working with the Warner Textile Archive:

“Working on this Art Fund project at the Warner Textile Archive has been an absolute dream! I’ve loved exploring the huge breadth of 1920s designs that the archive houses, and the opportunity to work hands-on with historic textiles has been a brilliant learning experience. I’m incredibly proud of the research we have conducted, and the final display we’ve produced.”

“I have had the privilege of acquiring valuable skills in handling, caring for, and documenting historical textiles, while also delving deep into the captivating history of Warner & Sons and the town of Braintree. I am also incredibly grateful for the guidance and support provided by the staff and volunteers throughout this process. Their expertise and passion have made this entire experience even more meaningful.”

“The skills that I have learnt here will undoubtably help me in my future career ambitions, and I hope it will lead me to working in a similar setting.”