We are Diane and Jim Gaffney and together we run Textile Traders (with a lot of help from our shop manager Ali Fox, in the photo below). Jim and I have been in business together since 1984 buying, selling, researching collecting and documenting, teaching and lecturing and putting on exhibitions of hand made textiles from across Asia - especially Indonesian batik. In those 30 odd years we have continued to learn about the textiles we buy, the people who make and use them, and the important role these textiles play in the societies we buy them from.
We have built up our family business at the same time as many of the small family businesses we buy from - and many have become good friends over the years. We still go and buy almost all our stock from the places they are made and whenever possible from the people who make them. Our sons, Seamus and Sean have grown up in the business and they still occasionally help us out on buying trips or do the odd day in the shop or on a stand.
I've also been involved in the British Batik Guild for many years helping to support and promote British batik. We've taught umpteen batik workshops in our time and have thoroughly road tested the whole range of reliable and good quality batik tools and equipment which we supply. In the last few years, I've taken small groups of people interested in textiles on Batik Study Tours of Java too.
In 1997 we opened our shop Textile Traders here in Bishop's Castle, a quirky little town in South Shropshire, on the borders of Wales and England.
Our normal opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday - but ring to make sure first if you are travelling a distance to visit.
Fair Trade has always been an important part of our business and we do our best to keep things fair by buying directly from the makers whenever we can. That way we know everyone is happy with the deal, and the money is going to those who continue to make high quality textiles in the teeth of considerable pressure from the global economy!
Asian Textile Journey
Jim and Diane often write a blog based on the textiles they collect on their travels from Central Asia and China to South East Asia. You can read more on their blog - it's all at... asiatextilejourney.wordpress.com
We also give talks about the talented and dedicated people who make our textiles and the many different techniques they use. We are happy to visit any group in the UK (and beyond) with an interest in the places and people we visit and the wonderful textiles they make. Have a look at our Talks Page.
Some of the things you may find in our shop and on our website include: a wonderful range of batik and ikat fabrics from Indonesia and Thailand, indigo textiles from China and south east Asia, ikat weavings from Flores, exciting hand embroideries, hemp, silk scarves, tribal costume from the hilltribes, felt dolls from Kyrgyzstan, and tribal silver jewellery. We also sell batik tools and equipment from Indonesia and wooden printing blocks from India. Going to see the people who supply us with textiles and tools is the best part of our job and we spend as much time as possible in the Far East as we can each winter.
If you can get to our shop, then we'd love to see you. If not, then many of our special one off items are available by mail and can be ordered online. Take a look at the Special Items page - many of the things there are unique, and all of them have been personally chosen by us!
I hope you enjoy our website. And if you would like to receive an emailed update of what we are doing and the events we are organising or going to (including World Textile Days) once every so often, then do subscribe to our newsletter.