Pure jean-ius of craft workshop

Roberta Balmforth who runs workshops creating jewellery, bags etc out of old jeans. (d06061112)
Roberta Balmforth who runs workshops creating jewellery, bags etc out of old jeans. (d06061112)

TEXTILE artist Roberta Balmforth is helping people rejuvenate their jeans at a craft workshop in Gomersal this weekend.

Roberta, of Mirfield, is passionate about textiles as well as recycling, and will show how a pair of old jeans can be turned into into a stylish handbag, corsage or hanging hearts embellished with fabrics, felt, lace, buttons and beads.

The former teacher hopes the workshop will help promote the current interest in saving and recycling during the tough economic climate, when people are having to tighten their belts.

She said: “I’ve done crafts all my life and now enjoy passing on these skills to other people.

“You only need basic hand sewing skills, we don’t use sewing machines, which shows just how easy it is to make something really creative out of old clothes.

“It’s the old make do and mend philosophy of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers which is becoming relevant again in these difficult economic times.

“I love vintage, and have lots of vintage buttons, materials and embroidered fabrics and am lucky enough to have a hobby which I am passionate about and which I can use in workshops to show other people.”

Roberta also makes jewellery and accessories using vintage buttons and materials which sell in galleries around the country.

She has held workshops at Red House before, using vintage fabrics, but this is the first time she has done the Recycle Your Jeans event there, though she has previously run it successfully in Barnsley.

“All people need to do is bring along a pair of old jeans – not too stretchy or with too much embroidery – and I will bring along the rest,” she added.

The event is in the musuem’s upper barn, tomorrow from 12.15pm-4.15pm and costs £25. Booking is essential.

Anyone wanting to attend should call Roberta on 01924 496754.

Access by stairs only.