University brings back Catterntide Day to celebrate lace makers

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NTU lace archive tourImage source, Sarah Woolf
Image caption,
Tours of Nottingham Trent University's lace archives will feature in the Catterntide Day programme

A forgotten Tudor tradition of celebrating textiles and its patron saints is returning to Nottingham.

Catterntide once honoured St Catherine, the patron saint of lace and textile makers, and Catherine of Aragon.

This year the tradition returns to "ignite people's interest on Nottingham's social history".

It has been put together by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and UK Young Artists (UKYA) with £10,000 Heritage Lottery Funding.

Image source, Fabrice Gagos
Image caption,
An exhibition on the day features a piano made of lace

Nottingham was synonymous with lace in the 1800s and once had 130 lace factories, employing 25,000 people.

Marking Catterntide, also called St Catherine's Day or Cattern Day, died out with the decline of the trade.

For this month's celebration NTU will hold tours of its lace archive, which features 75,000 pieces, and screen a documentary on the city's Cluny Lace Factory.

People will also be able to try a traditional Cattern cake - a Tudor recipe with cinnamon and caraway seeds.

It was historically made by Nottingham lace makers for the festivities and was named after Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII.

She destroyed all her lace after hearing of the financial plight of struggling English lace makers and then commissioned some more to create work for the industry.

Catterntide Day takes place on 23 November.

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