Detailed programme scroll down

Braintree Textile Fair will be back on Sunday 15 May 2022

This year the fair has been inspired by the exhibition The Art of Friendship at Braintree Museum which explores and celebrates the friendship and creativity of textile designer Marianne Straub and artist Denise Hoyle during the 1950s to 1970s, uniting their work for the first time.

Tickets to the Fair will give access to three historic town centre sites; Braintree Town Hall, the Warner Textile Archive and Braintree Museum. There will be Warner Textile Archive Store Tour, mini workshops, specialist talks including Mary Schoeser discussing the work of Marianne Straub, our shops and stall holders selling textiles, materials and unique gifts as well as the opportunity to view the exhibition the Art of Friendship. The ultimate day out for lovers of textiles!

Pre-booked tickets are £10
On the day £15
Child ticket 12 to 16 year olds £5
Children under 11 are free and don’t need a ticket


Book tickets here



Warner Textile Archive X Dig Haushizzle with Cassie Nicholas

Winner of the 2019 BBC and Netflix programme Design Masters Cassie Nicholas, owner of decorative antiques and interiors business Dig Haushizzle, will be talking about her experience of working with the Warner Textile Archive and the launch of their collaboration on exclusive homeware range. Inspired by the designs by artist Eva Crofts the talk will include the products and the chance to see the original works by Eva Crofts.

The Pocket: A Hidden History of Women’s Lives, 1660-1900 with Barbara Burman

Author Barbara Burman talks about the fascinating and enlightening study of the tie-on pocket that combines materiality and gender to provide new insight into the social history of women’s everyday lives―from duchesses and country gentry to prostitutes and washerwomen―and to explore their consumption practices, sociability, mobility, privacy, and identity. A wealth of evidence reveals unexpected facets of the past, bringing women’s stories into intimate focus.

Corsets, Crinolines and Camisoles with Frances Saltmarsh

Costume historian Fran Saltmarsh will talk about the history of underwear from AD 300 through to the modern day, and will bring some authentic pieces of clothing to show the audience.

Marianne Straub RDI: A Designer’s Designer with Mary Schoeser

Arriving in Bradford in 1932 to study power weaving, Swiss-born Marianne Straub (1909-1994) was to become one of Britain’s most influential designer/weavers. This talk is a chance to glimpse the creative output of a handweaver committed to well-made mass-produced textiles, one who remained active until her return to Switzerland in 1992.

Her biographer, Mary Schoeser, introduces the range of her work, including the cloths she designed for Gordon Russell Ltd. such as the Welsh tweeds first produced in the mid-1930s, those designed at Helios from 1937-50 – manufactured with ordinary people in mind – and the fabrics woven by Warner & Sons for a wide range of up-market clientele.

Having joined Warners in 1950, she soon took up residence in Great Bardfield, Essex and began teaching, latterly at the Royal College of Art. Among her freelance designs were those she produced for London Underground, including one remaining in use on the Piccadilly Line until recently. An example of this, together with a small selection of other Straub cloths, will be available to examine and on show in the exhibition The Art of Friendship at Braintree Museum.


Twining with Katherine Tregaskes at the Warner Textile Archive

Twining is a very old basketry and weaving technique that is very adaptable to a wide range of materials being used to create 2D fabric and 3D basketry vessels. I will bring a selection of twined baskets using a wide range of materials and be demonstrating twining using colourful jute and paper string while discussing the technique with visitors. There will be an opportunity to have a go and make a small twined sampler. All materials will be provided.

Rag Rugging with East Anglian Stitch Textiles at Braintree Museum 

Once associated with poverty and thrift, adding scraps of fabric to a hessian backing is now regarded as a modern day art form, particularly amongst those interested in up-cycling.

The use of rag rugs became widespread during the Industrial Revolution dying out in the 1920s, only to be revived during World War II.

At a time when we value the importance of community and sustainability, making a rag rug is as relevant today as it was when it first became popular.

Join EAST textile artists in the Victorian Classroom and learn the basic techniques to make a rag rug that you can complete individually or as part of a larger group activity.

Full Programme Information and Access

Talks at Braintree Museum


Drop in Workshops


Warner Textile Archive Store Tours

10:45am, 11:20am, 12:00, 2:00pm, 2:45pm, 3:30pm

Tours are approx. 15 to 30 minutes


Displays at Braintree Museum





There will be refreshments available to purchase at Braintree Town Hall from our cratering partner Something Scrummy. Alternatively there are other cafés open in Braintree Town Centre.



Braintree Museum and the Warner Textile Archive are all on one level with ramps to access the entrance of the building.

Braintree Town Hall is on two levels with lift access.


This year there is no need to collect entrance tickets just bring your receipt/ ticket and start at any of our three locations.

Tickets for all Talks and Store Tours will be available to collect at a first come first serve basis from Braintree Town Hall.



Please find the link for Braintree car parks

Braintree Train Station is a short walk from all three locations


If you have further questions please contact us:

01376 328868

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