Gawthorpe Textiles Collection is the operating name of independent registered charity The Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Textiles Collection. The Trust was established in 1959 and its charitable object is: To hold the RBKS Collections for the development of arts and crafts and for educational purposes. The charity operates from the Gawthorpe Hall estate where it works alongside the National Trust and Lancashire County Council (owners and operators of the Hall respectively).
Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth (1886-1967) was a prolific embroiderer and lace maker as well as a collector of international textiles. She was heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement which encouraged the revival of traditional craft skills in contrast to mechanisation. She saw the therapeutic benefits of crafts to improving wellbeing and supporting employability. Rachel dedicated her life to using her collection to teach and inspire others, setting up Gawthorpe Hall as her “Craft House”. Today GTC is an accredited museum and cares for a growing collection of over 30,000 textile and craft items. We deliver public programmes of activity including adult and family craft workshops (both onsite and as outreach), research visits for students and academics, artists and makers, contemporary artist collaborations and exhibitions and school activities. GTC works actively with partners across Burnley and beyond to connect local residents with their heritage and to inspire new generations of artists and makers.