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Exhibition is gripping yarn of Salts Mill women workers From Bradford Telegraph and Argus

This is the first time the spinning room has been used for such a major exhibition, which features the work of 23 emerging and established artists from around the world.

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Japanese artist Yoriko Yoneyama has used 30 mirrors to create a "reflection of memory". Hanging alongside a web of cooked rice gently pressed onto fine cotton thread, the delicate structure gives the impression of raindrops falling through the space.

Artist Caren Garden used the 1891 Census to find out more about the 'unknown women' at the mill and has created 'plaques' in their memory, made from patches of cotton attached to old wooden reels.

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"Hundreds of people have walked on this floor. I wanted to re create the 'floor' of the mill, at the heart of the village," said Reece. "I like the idea of working in the dust of the mill, with bits of paint and cobwebs falling on me."

But hanging up in the old spinning room once the longest industrial room in the world is a series of little plaques dedicated Vuitton Montaigne Bb

Treading in their footsteps, Reece based his artwork on the vast stone flagged floor.

Handstitched on to each cotton patch is a woman's name, age, date of birth, marital status and occupation all are in memory of women who worked here.

Caren's striking installation is part of Cloth and Memory, a major exhibition exploring the relationship between fabric and human experience, and unveiling the hidden history of Salts Mill.

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"The mile and a half I ran represents an hour's worth of wool production," said Rachel. "I wore a heart monitor and Lv Satchel Bags recorded my heart rate and lap times at each end of the huge room. I'm using beautiful fabric from Hainsworth; I like the fact they have a long, prestigious history of making woollen cloth and have been supplying to the Army since the Battle of Waterloo."


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Appearing on the vintage reels are such names as 'Polly Trotter, Cloth Mender' and 'Annie Herd, Weaver'. There is something moving about these mini 'blue plaques' paying tribute to ordinary millgirls who would otherwise have been forgotten.

Peta Jacobs, who created the devore image of Titus Salt, used a famous photograph of wool men gathering at Bradford's Wool Exchange as the base for a ghostly life size installation. The photograph, of a crowd of men in coats and hats, was taken in 1953. Peta reproduced it using the devore technique, leaving silhouhettes of men hanging from the ceiling. The installation brings a male feel to a space mostly occupied by female spinners.

Reece put rubbings of flagstones onto a felt and silk screen, on top of a Yorkshire wool base, and lasered on etchings of Saltaire scenes, including the United Reformed Church, street views and the village's stone lions.

Bradford artist Reece Clements was inspired by a family tradition at Salts Mill. His great great grandmother, Sarah Willoughby, and his great grandmother, Mary Ellen Higgins, were spinners there and his mother, Susan Wilson, worked in the office.

"Some images are of people coming out of the mill, chatting and carrying lunch boxes. You see the people behind the workers," said Rachel.

"It was what struck me most when I came here," he says. "You can see where the machinery was pinned down, and the spaces where workers walked."

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"The noise has been the starting point for some artists," said curator Lesley Millar. "Once the noise would've been deafening. Now the silence Lv Epi Leather

Cloth and Memory explores the idea that our memories resonate with fabric. The cloth we wear close to our skin, or touch in daily life, leaves a trace of ourselves behind.

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Karina Thompson recorded her heartbeat during a run around the top floor then translated the heartbeat data into a series of digitally programmed stitches and embroidered them on to 100 metres of Falcon Grey cloth from Hainsworths, near Pudsey. The artwork the UK's longest embroidery also includes intricate stitching of the four chambers of Karina's heart and patterns made by her footsteps in the dirt.

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The spinning room is so long I can hardly see the end of it. Sunlight pours through the glass roof and I can't imagine how hot it must have been in here when filled with workers operating rows of machines.

Silver leaf running through the cloth pays tribute to Jonathan Silver, who transformed Salts Mill.

is like a sound in itself."

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"Over time their work will pick up dirt and dust from the building," says Lesley. "In Japan a concept called wabi sabi means 'beauty of the worn surface'. Installations by Japanese artists will be returned to Japan after the exbibition ends, taking a piece of the mill with them."

to 121 girls and women who worked there.

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Climbing the stone staircase, visitors are greeted by a portrait of Sir Titus Salt made using the devore technique of burning cotton to leave silk fibres.

The old spinning room has retained the oil stains, peeling paint, dust and the smell of industry it was filled with 160 years ago. The artists working here today are covered in dust and grime that has clung to the walls and the huge stone floor.

Using archive photographs kept at Bradford Industrial Museum, Rachel Grey transfered images of Saltaire millworkers on to the silk lining of an old dress. The images, some of which are of the spinning room, are alongside pieces of text, including excerpts from Titus Salt's handwritten daybooks.

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Gertrude was one of thousands of millgirls swallowed up by the mighty textile industry of Victorian Bradford.

Like many child millworkers in the mid 1800s, she was a doffer clearing bobbins of spun wool from spinning frames and replacing them with empty Louis Vuitton Evidence

"I wanted to populate the space again," said Peta. "It will be accompanied by the sound of my daughter weaving and will be quite ghostly."

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