A unique and colourful textile portraying Castleford’s industrial heritage is now on display in Castleford Library.

Created by artist Julie McCready and the local community, the three textile wall hangings will educate and give a visual record for generations to come of the industrial lives and past local industries that have impacted and shaped Castleford and the people who live in it.

Julie led a series of four workshops within the library in January 2023 teaching the community creators new skills in textile art. Their work contributed to the final textile.

Approximately 32,400 metres (20 miles) of thread have been used to create the three textile wall hangings, which have been built up using layers of 40-weight machine embroidery thread, gently merging the colours to give a painterly effect.

Using basic mechanical sewing machines and including hand embroidery, the stitches used have varied from zig zags to straight stitch and free motion stitching.

A mixed variety of media was used including acrylic paint, watercolour, sharpies, wax crayons, oil pastels, heat-reactive paints and fabric pens. By combining materials sympathetically, using tools like a heat gun and even stitching through plastic, the textures have varied and created a multitude of colour.

The Friends of Castleford Library was successful in securing funding from Wakefield Councils Culture Grants scheme to produce the artwork. These grants are for creatives, cultural organisations and community groups based in the Wakefield district and aim to support our communities to take part in and deliver their own cultural and heritage projects, events, and activities. Find out more at https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/culture-grants