The Rag Market is a twice yearly event run by Hebden Bridge WI to raise funds for our Charity of the year, which, this year is ‘Music for the Many’, a local Charity which aims to provide and give local school children the opportunity to learn a variety of musical instruments. It also pays for an Educational Bursary which is offered to members of the Hebden Bridge Branch in keeping with the Women’s Institute’s aims in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills.
One preconceived idea of a Rag Market is a street market where old or second hand clothing is sold, or, if you check out the definition of ‘Rag’ dictionaries state; 1. A worthless piece of cloth, esp. one that is torn or worn. 2. Rags; ragged or tattered clothing, but, as regular visitors to our popular Rag Markets will confirm, products at our market is far from that! It is a treasure trove of textiles, a faberdashery of inspiration and crafty customers have flocked to enjoy the bargains!
Our Rag Market has to be the perfect place to source not only a bargain, but original and quality crafting, dress making and tailoring materials buttons, ribbons, yarn, vintage pieces, patterns, books and anything else you could possibly need to inspire your creativity! Many of the fabrics are vintage, one offs and from private collections so you can pick up many items that are not available in the shops for amazing prices.
Our stall holders are generally crafters themselves, reluctantly selling items from a treasured hoard that has become too large to store, but some of our regular stallholders also include local small businesses selling beautiful (Yorkshire!) woven wool tweeds and plaid fabrics and a ceramicist selling unique and unusual hand crafted ceramic buttons and a local small business selling beautiful Japanese pins and needles and handcrafted leather bits and bobs for sewers.
This October we also have a Scissor Sharpener attending the Market at Northlight Studios. Bring along your Scissors, leave them to be sharpened whilst you browse and shop and collect before you leave! An invaluable service for all Dressmakers, Crafters and Hairdressers!
On top of the excitement of stalls full of fabric and yarn we have the infamous WI cakes and jams for sale at our Egg Factory Venue.
Our Rag Market has gone from strength to strength, starting in 2012 with one room in Hebden Bridge Town Hall and around 300 visitors, we then introduced The Egg Factory as a Venue and the Rag Market has now become such a well known event that we welcomed 1200 visitors from all over Britain to our Market in April 2018. Some of the visitors spending the weekend in Hebden Bridge to enjoy all that our town has to offer. Despite expanding into Northlight Studios this October we still have a waiting list for stalls.
This October we are extremely thrilled to welcome Mr X Stitch to open our Rag Market. Mr X Stitch (Jamie Chalmers) is an ambassador for the Craft, introducing people to the benefits of embroidery, and earlier this year was seen on the BBC Four Series ‘MAKE’ Craft Britain.
Mr X Stitch (photo credit to Stacy Grant)
Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery, took up cross stitching fifteen years ago and he’s never looked back.
Since establishing the Mr X Stitch website in 2008, he has been showcasing new talent in the world of textiles and stitch and has curated a number of stitch-based exhibitions in the UK and Ireland. Jamie is an accomplished and internationally exhibited artist in his own right, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is the founder of the game-changing XStitch cross stitch design magazine which launched in summer 2017.
Jamie is an active leader in the online stitch community and what he has dubbed ‘the new embroidery movement’ and is active on various social networking platforms. He loves introducing new people to the benefits of embroidery from a creative and wellbeing standpoint and is proud to be an ambassador for this ubiquitous craft.