Details of fan sticks, painted and gilded ivory c. 1760-1770

About Gawthorpe Textiles Collection

Gawthorpe Textiles Collection (GTC) is a charity founded in 1959 by the Honourable Rachel Beatrice Kay-Shuttleworth MBE (1886- 1967), a life-long collector of global textile and craft items. 

Rachel was a maker, teacher, collector, philanthropist and social activist who started amassing textile and craft items as early as 1912 to help her to teach heritage techniques - keeping them alive for future generations to learn from and be inspired by.

The collection is one of the most interesting textile collections in the UK and is known to textile specialists worldwide. The 30,000+ artefacts range from the highly functional to the finest decorative or ceremonial pieces. Spanning five centuries, covering a broad range of techniques and originating from across the globe, this collection speaks as much about cultural, social and personal histories as it does about textile craft.  

Rachel was much ahead of her time in her knowledge that creativity and craft unlocked health, social and economic prospects for those in the community most in need. The charity continues to deliver Rachel’s ethos of providing learning opportunities, working with the local community and promoting participation in crafts as a tool for supporting individual wellbeing and fulfilment. 

2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the charity, to mark this milestone the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection is launching a range of home and gift products. All of the products are directly related to items found in collection, the proceeds of which will help towards the upkeep of this remarkable collection.

Choose the following links for information regarding visiting the Collection, exhibitions or to book events and workshops. For further information about possible collaborations, please contact us at