Meet the Committee

Mary Schoeser

Mary Schoeser

Honorary President

Mary studied design and weave before embarking on a career as an archivist, historian and researcher in Textiles. Her 250 publications capture the extent of her work – as an advisor on historic collections to a writer on artist-designed textiles.

"I exchanged my shuttle for a role as curator. My research ranges from the broad overview to specialist topics, but centres on the role of Western manufacturers and designers since the 1660s, and what I call ‘the location of innovation’."

Linda Brassington

Linda Brassington

Chair
chair@textilesociety.org.uk

Linda has taught Printed and Woven Textiles for three decades, and her work has spanned international residencies and design projects. Her research explores new meaning in resist dyeing, and the relevance of intangible cultural heritage in contemporary practice.

"When I came to study art and design, the world made sense through textiles. From colour in the dye room to the global culture of cloth, textiles crosses boundaries and disciplines."

Debra Roberts

Debra Roberts

Vice Chair
Manchester Antique and Vintage Textile Fair
atf@textilesociety.org.uk

Debra has developed an extensive teaching career in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at BA and MA level. A firm believer in the beautiful and the useful, her current interests are in recycling and repurposing antique and vintage furniture and accessories.

"It is the sensory and haptic qualities of process that overwhelm the senses. My passion lies within the history of textiles and the making, both past and present, the joy to see but also to do."

Jacqueline Ramsey

Jacqueline Ramsey

Secretary
info@textilesociety.org.uk

Jacqueline’s needlework skills developed into textile conservation and restoration. Later she established her career in broadcast journalism spanning radio, television and print with particular experience in fashion journalism.

"Though my interest in textiles is very broad, it is the world of fashion and its history that holds the biggest draw for me. What you wear says more about you than you may realise!

John Fisher

John Fisher

Treasurer
treasurer@textilesociety.org.uk

John’s career in Physics and hydrocarbon exploration in the Middle East, Africa and Asia has developed his interest and appreciation of world textiles.

"Textiles have a story to tell: why and how they were made, with what fibre, dyestuff and technique. Textiles are at a social crossroads, craft transforming into art or met by mass production. What will be the impact of digital technology on knowledge, expertise and core skills?"

Sally Laker

Sally Laker

Membership Secretary
membership@textilesociety.org.uk

Sally’s background is in accountancy and business. She has 35 years of experience in industry, where she extended her skills in internal controls and procedures. Later she developed a career in teaching, specialising in adult literacy and mathematics for students and sixth formers.

"After 11 years in the teaching profession I remember why I took the opportunity to change career: to concentrate on education."

Brenda King

Brenda King

Editor at Large
Conference Organiser and Research Symposium Convenor

We are saddened to report that Dr Brenda King died suddenly on 4 July 2021. We are indebted to Brenda for her work and dedication to the Textile Society for more than 30 years.

Lyn Broster

Lyn Broster

Bursaries and Awards
bursaries@textilesociety.org.uk

Lyn’s background is in Design History as a lecturer, researcher and exhibition curator for 15 years. Her particular interest is in museum studies and design collections, and she is keen to create a partnership between past and present to create new audiences.

"I have always been passionate about helping students follow their career paths, and supporting people who are working in textiles and the arts."

Suzanne Smith

Suzanne Smith

Museum, Archive and Conservation Award
museumaward@textilesociety.org.uk

Suzanne has over 20 years’ experience of working in the museum and heritage sector. She is a recognised expert in storage and care of textile-based collections having managed the national collection for eight years. She is now working in a consultative role.

"I remain dedicated to opening up textile and fashion collections to as wide and as diverse an audience as possible, and believe wholeheartedly that ‘all of this belongs to you’!"

Pat Frost

Pat Frost

Text and News Editor
text@textilesociety.org.uk
newsletter@textilesociety.org.uk

Pat has nearly 30 years’ experience of working in the Fashion and Textile Department of an international auction house with special responsibility for European, Islamic, Indian and Asian textiles, and Fashion sales. Now Pat is an independent consultant in the field.

"I would like to widen the Society’s appeal to younger members, sharing my love and experience of historic textiles. They are so fascinating and so little understood!"

Clare Bungey

Clare Bungey

Text and News Production Editor

Since completing her degree in Printed Textiles, Clare has developed an extensive career in textile publishing, marketing and communications. Now she specialises in organising and curating textile events and workshops in the UK and internationally.

"I have had a life-long love of textiles, and have been pleased to collaborate with wonderful textile artists, designers and historians from all over the world."

Desiree Jeans

Desiree Jeans

Website Editor
webmaster@textilesociety.org.uk

Desiree’s experience lies in business development and events programming to encourage engagement with museum collections and exhibitions. Her current interests lie in podcasts, and the crossover between public speaking, social media and online content.

"My creative practice focuses on sculptural hand knitting. The process used to create is crucial, with the act of handcrafting being key. Future aspirations include doctoral research in the use of hand knitting as a grief management tool."

Holly Walker

Holly Walker

Publicity Officer
publicity@textilesociety.org.uk

Following a degree in Printed Textiles, Holly worked in TV production and video content in textile art and craft, before project managing store design in international fashion and homeware for ten years.

"My interest is in homespun and domestic textiles; the intimate narratives they embody and the wider political insights they can give. The ‘craft’ aesthetic as an art form, and the influence of context has always intrigued me."

Meg Andrews

Meg Andrews

Events
events@textilesociety.org.uk

Having established the Costume and Textile Department at an international auction house, Meg works as a dress and textile consultant and valuer for museums, archives and manufacturers. She runs her own business dealing in rare and unusual items.

"As a specialist in antique dress and textiles, I am passionate about sharing my broad knowledge, and lecturing and writing on a variety of little known designers and early twentieth century craft businesses."

Jane Rylands

Jane Rylands

Committee Member
Manchester Antique and Vintage Textile Fair

Jane is a practising artist specialising in textiles and paper. Her work has taken her to Japan through residencies and international exhibition. Now her time is primarily dedicated to teaching Art and Textiles in secondary and further education while researching and developing her practice.

Janie Lightfoot

Janie Lightfoot

London Antique and Vintage Textile Fair
atflondon@textilesociety.org.uk

Janie has over 40 years’ experience in textile conservation and restoration. She has worked extensively in the public and private sector, both nationally and internationally, in museums, heritage and ecclesiastical textiles.

"Being a Textile Conservator I work with textiles on a daily basis, taking on a wide spectrum of projects from three-dimensional textiles to fine intricate items. As a mentor I establish long-standing relationships with textile students and local schools.

Greta Garatti

Greta Garatti

Student Representative
students@textilesociety.org.uk

Greta has specialised in Journalistic Media Studies at City, University of London spanning print, radio, podcast and TV. Her particular interests lie in sustainable fashion.

"How sustainable is your wardrobe? The debate on natural and synthetic fabrics has been going on for years. Both materials have qualities and downsides, but every small change in our way of choosing and buying materials can make a difference for humans and the environment."

Imogen Caitling

Imogen Caitling

Co-opted member
Text Reviews Editor
text-reviews@textilesociety.org.uk

Gwyn Higginson

Gwyn Higginson

Co-opted member
Manchester Antique and Vintage Textile Fair