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Battling through the storms

New Crafting Programme
Battling through the storms: a bright start to Cromford Mills’ new crafting programme

For almost 250 years, Cromford Mills has been a place of creative industry, and now they are once again putting making in the spotlight. New for 2020, ‘Making at the Mill’ is a monthly programme of adult craft workshops designed to inspire locals and tourists alike to learn new skills and create unique products. Running once a month in the mill yard, the workshops pick up the threads of the mill’s cotton past with felting, rope making and weaving on waterwheels. They also branch out with workshops on willow weaving, painting and glass blowing – to name but a few!

On the 9th February, a select and intrepid group of crafters braved Storm Ciara to create beautiful nuno felted silk scarves in the idyllically located canal-side Gothic Warehouse. They each designed and created their own individual pattern, incorporating needle felted flowers and animals into the gorgeous strands of colourful merino wool. They then wet felted this wool around a piece of silk to create warm and vibrant scarves. Mary Macdonald, who rents a studio at Cromford Mills for her textile business ‘The Old Loom Shop’, led the workshop. She said, ‘Once again I spent a lovely day at the Gothic Warehouse at Cromford Mill Nuno felting silk scarves with lovely people who braved the weather and came from afar! Thank you, it was a brilliant day!’

The next workshop will be weaving willow obelisks with Jill Leheup on Saturday 14th March, just in time for the flourishing spring growth of gardens across Derbyshire. Tickets cost £65 and places are limited. On the 4th April another of Cromford Mills’ own mill yard artists, Sarah Wheatley of WeaveKnitIt, will be leading a workshop using needle felting skills to produce gorgeous tactile Easter wreaths. The 2nd May sees Derbyshire historical ropemaker Thomas Taylor coming to the mill to lead a workshop on the production of rope, all the way from its origins in the flax plant to how to use a hand driven spinner and rope machine.

All workshops are run by local artists and craftspeople, and are suitable for any skill level. All materials are provided, and crafters will be guided through the artistic process to leave with a product they can be proud of. Teas and coffees are provided, and for full day workshops there will be a lunch break in which attendees can visit the cafes onsite or bring their own food to eat. Places are limited and can be booked online at, over the phone 01629 823 256 or in person at the Mill Shop (Cromford Mills, Mill Lane, Cromford, Derbyshire, DE4 3RQ).

Visit for more details and book your spot today!

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