We need you! Support The Selvedge World Fair Kickstarter Campaign

Next Saturday I will be visiting Bath for The Selvedge Fair at the Assembly Rooms. At the Fair we are launching our Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the summer 2020 event, The Selvedge World Fair. I hope you'll support the campaign, we have some lovely rewards to thank you for your donations, all will be revealed on Saturday. If you can make it to Bath, I'll be delighted to share my plans and vision with you. In the meantime,  read on to find out about the story so far...

I have a life-long passion for textiles and believe their value goes far beyond cloth itself. Textiles reflect the history and the future of all humanity. And yet, with the global textile industry, the second largest polluter on the planet and landfills groaning with mass-produced, barely worn clothes, the heritage and cultural significance of textiles are woefully undervalued. Selvedge is unashamedly biased towards the handmade. This bias is at the heart of what we bring to our readers, and our workshops, socials and fairs are built around a passion for nurturing and promoting makers that is central to the conversations we have in print.

After visiting the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico,  I recognised a synergy, not only with the artisans, many of whom I have featured in the magazine but also with the ethos of the organisation.  Since then, Selvedge has accepted an invitation to partner with the International Folk Art Market to bring a version of the event, The Selvedge World Fair, to a European audience, in July 2020. Staged by the not-for-profit Selvedge Foundation, the event will be a three-day celebration of textiles in central London, where a curated group of world-renowned artisans will share their skills and show their work. Within the programme, visitors will be able to hear their stories, learn about the importance of cloth in their home countries, acquire new skills and indulge in a little retail therapy.  

This is the most ambitious endeavour we have ever undertaken. Through my work, I have been privileged to build relationships with talented artisans from around the world, and I am looking forward to introducing them to you, as well as to showcasing the very best textiles the world has to offer. To ensure our presentation is of the highest possible standard we are working with museum curators, academics and retail experts who will confirm the quality, variety and integrity of our offering. The Selvedge World Fair is not only for textile aficionados -  I want it to be a vibrant celebration of cloth, a festival that engages a new audience with the importance of the fabric of all our lives.

I know the potential impact of an event like this is huge - from supporting the creative economy to preserving endangered crafts. But in order to achieve this impact and bring the Selvedge World Fair to life, our Foundation needs to generate funds to cover the costs of staging the event and to enable our artisans to travel to and to stay with us in London, and this is why I am asking for your support. Please consider donating to our campaign - I would be hugely grateful for any donation, however large or small, you are able to make. Every donation received will bring us one step closer to staging this extraordinary exhibition of international excellence.  For more information about The Selvedge World Fair or The Selvedge Foundation please visit or

Best Wishes

Polly Leonard

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  • Sally Bristow on

    I’m all in favour of showcasing Textiles to a wider audience and think it’s a brilliant idea. I shall follow the process and wish I was able to attend, but New Zealand is a bit far!

  • North Bristol Community Project on

    We would love to help raise awareness of the Fair by running a series of textile upcycling workshops at our Centre in Bristol. Anyone else interested in collaborating, do get in touch with our lead person Rita Gupta, who is a practising artisan. Drawing on her multiple Spanish Indian heritage, she produces unique one of a kind, vibrant pieces which also influence the courses she runs in textile printing.

  • Jan ter Heide on

    What a great idea to organize a Worldfair about textiles!
    It must be a dream for all TextileLovers!
    I will follow the whole proces and perhaps I might come.
    Kind regards from Jan

  • Annabel Lewis on

    I will be promoting the Kickstarter campaigne to make this a great success .
    V V Rouleauxx.

  • glyn benson on

    What are the dates for 2020 Textile celebration please?
    Glyn Benson

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