KNITTERS at Britain’s biggest textile event, which opens in Harrogate next week, will be invited to gently needle the government by stitching their names on to an embroidered petition.
Organisers of the Knitting and Stitching Show will help compile a hand-stitched petition on behalf of the Campaign for Creativity, a nationwide drive by textile artists and designers to protect creative and craft subjects in schools - a move which, it says, could also improve child mental health.
Organisers said research had found that more than half of art and design teachers believed that opportunities for children to be creative at school were declining.
Anthea Godfrey, artistic director of the Embroiderers’ Guild, said: “Creativity is vital to child development, not only as a means of expression and communication but to support life skills such as problem-solving, strategic thinking and resilience.
“We must do all we can to ensure creative subjects are not sidelined in the education system. Creative thinkers hold the key to the UK’s future success, not just in culture and the arts but across business and industry too.”
The petition will be presented to the education secretary, Justine Greening, later this year.
The annual four-day show at Harrogate’s Convention Centre features work by leading designers alongside more than 230 workshops and classes for beginners and experts.
Its tea room is also on-message, with a competition run with Bettys to come up with crochet crumpets, knitted tea cosies and other items for an afternoon break. Winners will get a Betty’s hamper.
The event runs from November 23-26.