Diane and Jim are trying to retire (gradually!) so they are opening their shop in Shropshire less and less.
BUT we will be open on every Friday and Saturday from now until Christmas 2023
If you would like to visit us at any other time, please give Jim a ring or a text message on 07910 375593
Olli is looking after all orders on the website - for any questions she can be reached on 07944 861122
We will be visiting many corners of the UK with our World Textile Days and other shows and events. Keep an eye on our Events Page for details. We continue to add to our website all the time. So please keep your orders coming!
Diane and Jim Gaffney started Textile Traders way back in 1984. We started buying while working as teachers in Singapore and did our first market stall in December 1984 with a one month old baby! That was at Leeds Queens Hall Antique Fair.
38 years later we are trying hard to retire but let's face it, we both love the life of buying selling and talking about textiles too much to let go completely. I am still very much involved in organising World Textile Days and Jim is going back to his roots and selling his collections of "Textile Treasures". Some of those can be found in our Special and Unique Textiles section.
But luckily our younger son, Sean has taken charge of the shows - so you will see him on the stand at World Textile Days, Wonderwool, Hellen's Manor and so on.
Our "substitute daughter" Olivia has been helping in the shop since she was eleven years old and she is now in charge of the Textile Traders website. Both of these young people have done a brilliant job of carrying on where we left off but will be making their own way and taking the business wherever they would like it to go as time goes by.
Jim and I have built up our family business alongside many of the small family businesses we buy from - and over the years, many have become our good friends. We still go to Indonesia and Thailand and buy almost all our stock from the places where it's made and whenever possible from the people who make it.
Fair Trade has always been an important part of our business and we always do our best to keep things fair by buying directly from the makers. 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!
I've been involved in the UK Batik Guild for many years helping to support and promote contemporary batik artists. 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 2013 I started to take small groups of friends and other people interested in textiles on Batik Study Tours of Java too. I hope to do another one next year.
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. At the moment it is still open but only on certain days (see above)
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
Some of the things you may find in our shop and on our website include:
Going to visit and buy from the people who supply us with textiles and tools is one of my favourite parts of our job and I usually spend a couple of months in the Far East each winter. Jim more often than not stays home to avoid another unnecessary flight. We are both aware that the less flying we can do, the better.
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.
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.
Sign up to our newsletter