Wyedean 31.10.23

Haworth military uniform specialists make school’s Art Week a totem success!

Donated materials from a Haworth manufacturer which produces ceremonial military uniform accoutrement and regimental Colours and flags, have been used to create totem poles at a local school.

For almost 60 years, the fourth generation family business Wyedean, has specialised in the manufacture of military uniforms and ceremonial accoutrements including fabrics for medals, military badges and braiding. Based in Bridgehouse Mill in Haworth, Wyedean produces 1.5million ceremonial uniform regalia and insignia items each year and this summer, was awarded the contract to manufacture the British Armed Forces’ new regimental flags following King Charles III’s Coronation.

With 20 inhouse staff who weave, braid and hand craft, Managing Director Robin Wright said it’s important to the team that any leftover materials are reused and recycled.

He explained: “Our products are rich in tradition, history and heritage so it’s right and fitting that any waste items such as medal ribbons and cones, webbing, laces and cardboard tubes continue their useful life by bringing pleasure and excitement to local children and inspiring creativity.

“We donate our textile waste to around 10 local schools each year for everything from school parades and plays to events like Arts Week – it’s just one of the ways we aim to give back to our local community and support the creative education of young people.”

The latest use for Wyedean’s textile waste was to make a school hall full of totem poles at Stanbury Village School as part of its bi-annual Art Week where more than 100 pupils aged from three to 11 got creative with members of their family and the local community.

Foundation Stage Teacher Emma Dowson said: “For two full days we had our pupils and their families in school building, making, creating and assembling totem poles – an activity made possible thanks to the donation of cardboard tubes, cones, 30 x 2 metre poles, ribbons and webbing from Wyedean.

“This is very much a community event and an activity for us, which starts in class and continues when families are invited in to work with the children. Budgets are stretched in all schools and what funds we do have are prioritised for key areas of teaching. So when we receive fantastic donations like these vibrant and varied materials from Wyedean, it really brings our activities to life.”

Wyedean was founded as a manufacturer of braid and military uniform accoutrement in Haworth in 1964 by David Wright who ran the business with his father Frank Wright, a former textile machine designer who was awarded an MBE in recognition of his invention of a new yarn spinning technique called centrifugal spinning.

Today the business remains chaired by David’s wife Norma (98), with her son and Managing Director Robin, his wife and Sales Director Debra and their daughters Business Development Director Rosie and Systems Project Manager Susannah Walbank.

Susannah, whose children Annie and Arthur attend Stanbury Village School, added: “We love to see the imaginative creations made by local children across the district from items that we no longer have use for. We’re very aware of the need for reducing textile waste so to see our leftover fabrics, tubes, cones and ribbons being reused in local schools and bringing so much pleasure to the pupils, is incredibly rewarding.”