National Exhibition 5-20 September 2020

“Coal, Cotton, Canals”

National Exhibition Logo

Venue Leigh Spinners Mill

Date 5th – 20th September 2020

The North West and On-line guilds are looking forward to welcoming you  to the National Exhibition 2020 at Leigh Spinners Mill, Park Lane, Leigh, WN7 2LB.

We are very fortunate to be part of the ongoing development of the Mill as an up and coming Heritage and Community Centre.

The exhibition will coincide with the Bicentenary of the opening of the Leigh branch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, which will be celebrated during the Heritage Weekend.

The theme is Coal, Cotton, Canals which we hope will inspire you.

The open, un-juried section is Still Waters to be produced within a 6inch/15cm ring. They will need to be labelled with Name of entrant and their guild on the reverse.


Open Section

“Still Waters”- a textile piece in any discipline to fit within a 6inch/15cm ring. A metal ring, a wooden embroidery ring or a cardboard circle covered with dyed and embroidered fabric are all appropriate. Everything submitted will be displayed, but it must be not exceed 6 inches/15cms in diameter.

We envisage the rings being displayed hanging against a wall, one above the other, possibly from a long horizontal pole, so they will need a small hanging loop at the top and bottom.

Your name and guild must be clearly marked on the back, and our aim is to have a key so you can work out who has made each piece.

Juried Section

“Coal, Cotton, Canals”

Please do not be put off by the title! It seemed an appropriate suggestion from Leigh Spinners Mill during our first meeting there in 2017, and it can be interpreted as broadly as you like.


Have a look at the Singh Twins website for information on their Slaves to Fashion exhibition, which looks absolutely gorgeous, but highlights the darker side of textiles including cotton.

Take inspiration from colour:- for example, the purples of mauvine dyes from coal, or the bright reds, greens, yellows, and blues of canal art.

Have a look at industrial architecture or include some cotton in your piece.

Between 62 and 74 metric tons of coal per year are still used in the Textile, Clothing and Leather Industry in the UK, so that is something to think about.

Your piece will be accepted whether or not you are inspired by the theme, providing that it conforms to the Criteria, which are on the WIP. Please, also make sure you include a feelie piece (8x12cms) or a skein of yarn if you are submitting spun yarn. These, along with a good quality photo, are essential for the Selectors to make their decisions.


Entries for Selection (feelie pieces and A4 photos) to be posted about 25th May to arrive no later than June 8th.

Selected items to be posted about 29th July to arrive no later than 12th August.

Rings to be posted about 5th August to arrive by the 19th August.