INDEPENDENT Yorkshire retailer Duttons for Buttons returns to Ilkley in July with a new concept: Mrs Duttons Wondrous Workshops.

The all-new destination for needle and textile crafts repurposes the former haberdashery shop at 3 Church Street after major renovations.

The creation of a crafting destination is a response to changes to the high street country-wide, accelerated by Covid-19 and the growth of online shopping and home working.

It is not the first step-change for the 100-year-old family firm. From a trimmings merchant supplying the burgeoning tailoring trade in Leeds in 1906, it embraced home dress making post-War, added supplies for Knit and Natter groups at the turn of the new century, workshops in York for crafters and, most recently, an online shop to give the handmade movement nationwide access to its thriving ‘bricks and mortar’ shops in Harrogate and York.

Mrs Duttons Wondrous Workshops will offer a crafters who want to ‘up-skill’ and those who enjoy communal making. Crafts include knitting, embroidery, crochet, quilting, macramé, rag-rugging, braiding and appliqué, with more in the pipeline. Those working from home, retired or living alone will be able to break up their week with tutor-led workshops, crafting socials and talks. Out of town visitors will be able to join them in weekend workshops, for hen dos, baby showers and holiday classes as well as weekend retreats.

Fourth-generation owner Deborah Richardson said: “The pandemic has made us all realise that family and community are our first priority; also that crafting and well-being go hand-in-hand. Home working for some has had its plusses but it has also caused isolation and loneliness; we all need company. After serving Ilkley for 40 years, our shop closed in 2019, the victim of rising rates, discounting by large multiples and online sellers with low overheads. Since then, it has sat empty and forlorn. Creating a new home for communal crafting in the heart of the town makes perfect sense.”

A talented pool of Yorkshire artists, designers and makers will teach the regular classes in Ilkley. Local textile artist Helen Barnes has developed a series of six exclusive workshops exploring the Dales’ quilting and embroidery traditions plus a hands-on tour of world embroidery covering Shisha mirror work from India and Pakistan, Kantha from West Bengal & Bangladesh and Sashiko visible mending from Japan. Helen is joined by core tutors HndNit knitwear designer Fiona Drake with starter and upskill knitting classes; macramé, rag-rugging and braiding from designer/maker Kim Searle of Darn It!

Workshops, and bear and lampshade making from Jacqueline Schultz of JS Interiors and Jacqueline’s Bears. Guest teachers and speakers will enrich the programme throughout the year.

Pre book classes at: