We are Diane and Jim Gaffney and we run Textile Traders (with a lot of help from our shop manager Ali Fox - there she is in the photo below). Jim and I have been in business together since 1984 buying, selling, researching collecting and documenting, teaching and putting on exhibitions of hand made textiles from across Asia. We specialise in batik and ikat textiles from Indonesia, Thailand, Laos and China. For over 30 years we have continued to learn about the textiles we buy, the people who make and use them, and the important role they have in the societies we buy them from.
We have built up our family business alongside many of the small family businesses we buy from - and over the years, many have become good friends. We still go and buy almost all our stock from the places where it's made and whenever possible from the people who make it. Our sons, Seamus and Sean have grown up in the business and they still occasionally help us out on buying trips or work the odd day in the shop, on a stand or help out at a World Textile Day.
I've been involved in the UK 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 begun taking 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 in the winter, it's a good idea to ring to make sure we'll be here 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 straight to the people who continue to make high quality textiles in the teeth of considerable pressure from the global economy!
Asian Textile Journey
Diane often writes a blog based on the textiles she collects on her travels from Central Asia and China to South East Asia. You can read more on the 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 the people we visit and the wonderful textiles they make. For an idea of our talks, have a look at our Talks Page.
Some of the things you may find in our shop and on our website include:
Going to visit the people who supply us with textiles and tools is one of the best part of our job and one or both of us spend as much time 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 maybe you can track us down at one of our talks or shows. Have a look here at our Events Diary. Or you can order online...many of our special one off items are available by mail order. Take a look at the Special Items page - many are unique, and all of them have been personally chosen by us!
I hope you enjoy our website. 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) every so often, then do subscribe to our Newsletter.