A MONTH-long festival celebrating East Lancashire's great textile tradition is to return next year.

The British Textile Biennial will run throughout October 2021 and will feature a major commission by Turner Prize winning artist Lubaina Himid and fashion historian and TV presenter Amber Butchart as guest curator.

BTB21 will present exhibitions, installations, performances and films in former mills and other rarely accessible spaces around East Lancashire, such as Blackburn’s Cotton Exchange, alongside a range of events and activities for the public to engage with.

Last year's event proved a major success and stimulated international interest. Events included the country's largest exhibition of Adidas trainers and a display of protest banners and fashion.

For 2021, Lubaina Himid who won the prestigious Turner Prize in 2017, will present a major new work responding to the Gawthorpe Textile Collection based at Padiham's Gawthorpe Hall, exploring the histories of industrialisation, female labour, migration and globalisation.

The collection is one of the most interesting textile collections in the UK, with more than 30,000 artefacts.

Following the huge success of the last Biennial’s crowd-sourced exhibition of protest banners, BTB21 will be inviting the public to share textiles that have significance to them.

Amber Butchart - presenter of A Stitch in Time on BBC Four - will curate a section with pieces chosen from the Gawthorpe Textile Collection which will also be shown online. As guest curator, Amber is also planning a series of podcasts featuring artists’ interviews and a series of live events for broadcast.

And artist Jamie Holman will explore the working class histories of Blackburn and the connections between the original mill workers and their descendants

The full programme of events will be announced in the spring.

The British Textile Biennial is produced by Super Slow Way which aims to transform lives and communities through art.

The organisation is part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places action research initiative is a partnership made up of the Canal & River Trust, Newground, the local authorities of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn, UCLAN, Creative Lancashire and Arts Partnership Pennine Lancashire