we were very lucky this week to find ourselves passing through Hebden Bridge, also known as trouser town due to its history of mills and textile industry including specialising in corduroy. We stopped for a couple of hours to sample some of the street food in the market (lentil dhal with rice followed by a vegan lemon slice), we weren’t disappointed! And also to enjoy some Christmas charm of this small but thriving town. I was particularly interested in some of the locally hand made goods, Hebden Bridge is well known for its creative population and studios ranging from textiles to printmaking.There is a very special shop ran by two nice gentlemen who had a chat with us about hand woven rugs. The Afghan Rugshop is a space filled with colour and pattern. I carefully stepped around the rugs on the shop floor as I know exactly how much work goes into making a hand tufted rug.
I was amazed at the work, colour and finish in the rugs and the stories behind them, some quite sad events leading to the making of ‘jail rugs’, but true masters of their detailed craft. Yarns would be spun and dyed using natural dyes. A rug would be woven by a family or close group who take shifts over a period of months to complete one such rug. Once a rug is finished it is laid down upon the road and ran over by large vehicles to soften the look and feel of the weave.
Other shops in the area are predominantly independently owned, offering a large selection of artist prints, ceramics, books, homewares including a woven chair!
I personally fell in love with the above print by a Racheal Bell you can find her work here: http://www.rachreddesigns.co.uk/
This town is wonderful, I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit.