Celebration of Tailoring Industry Opens at Leeds Industrial Museum

Published: 9th September 2014

A permanent exhibition celebrating the rich tradition of the Leeds tailoring industry has opened at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills.

The display not only showcases the work and history of Leeds’s tailoring firms and high street fashions, but highlights the importance and scale of the clothing factories during their heyday and beyond.

Featured in the gallery are 120 items of men’s tailoring from the 1930s to the 1980s from the museum’s Industrial History Costume Collection. The majority of the collection was donated by small firms such as a multi-coloured sample school blazer form W.A Hogg or from the big Leeds based tailors such as Hepworth’s and Burtons.

Included as part of the Burton’s collection are everyday suits, dinner suits and demob suits that were specially commissioned by the government. The costume donated by Hepworth’s also includes a group of 19th century replica designs from the company’s archives that were custom made to celebrate the company’s centenary in 1964.

These sit aside a range of other interesting items including a good selection of semi-finished samples which were sent to clients who placed large orders, such as the London Ambulance service, which uniforms still have the hand written sample tags attached.

Leeds Industrial Museum is housed in Armley Mills, which was once the world’s largest woollen mill.

It’s opening hours are:

  • Monday: Closed except for bank holidays. Bank holiday Mondays 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
  • Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
  • Sunday: 13:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00