NORTHWICH’s rich salt-producing legacy has proved a fantastic source of inspiration for some local textile artists.

Threadmill is a group of makers, many of who teach in schools and colleges, who have drawn on the rural and urban landscapes that make up Northwich’s salt manufacturing heritage as a 'catalyst to the imagination' for their latest works.

Starting in March and running until July, the group will be exhibiting some of their textile pieces at the award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum in Marston, which tells the story of salt in Cheshire and its impact on the people, landscape and industry of the region.

The award-winning museum is the site of the last open-pan salt mines in Britain, and one of the last in the world, so rare it has the same protected status as Stonehenge.  

Northwich Guardian: Jill Crowther’s rust and eco-dyed fabrics, woven, with hand stitchJill Crowther’s rust and eco-dyed fabrics, woven, with hand stitch (Image: Threadmill)

Threadmill chairwoman Angela Oswald said: “The Lion Salt Works is a wonderful place to draw inspiration for new work with its wealth of historic objects, atmospheric site and interesting history – all of which provide catalysts for the imagination.

“The 15-strong Threadmill group live in various parts of Cheshire, with two of its members, Sue Law and Ruth Smith, having a particularly strong local connection as they live in Northwich.

“Ruth Smith was a very early volunteer at the Lion Salt Works, prior to its restoration in 2015. She drew both the Smithy and Salt Wagon and at the time also produced small cross stitch kits for sale in the shop. 

The Threadmill group explore a range of creative textile disciplines and has used the natural and urban landscape as a catalyst for the development of ideas.

The work is diverse in style and scale, and the techniques used are innovative and varied, including hand and machine stitching, painting, printing, dyeing, felting, collage, mixed media, and embroidery.

Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "Threadmill’s members come from a wide range of backgrounds and most have recognised vocational qualifications or degrees in art and design subjects as well as teaching in schools and colleges.

"No wonder then that the quality of this work is extremely high.

"For anyone who is interested in textiles, this colourful and innovative exhibition is a must-see."  

The exhibition opens at Northwich’s Lion Salt Works Museum on Sunday, March 19, and runs until Monday, July 10. 

Entry is free for those who have paid to get into the museum.