PART OF THE CRUSADER MILL COLLECTION
'Social Fabric' is a documentary looking at the displacement of knitting factories in Manchester.
For over 30 years, Crusader Mill in Manchester was occupied by textile businesses run by the South Asian community. In 2017, following the purchase of the building by developers Capital & Centric, these businesses were forced to move out . This placed huge pressure on the businesses and the community as a whole, as the factories searched for new premises, and had to move their machines at great cost. Of the 7 factories in Crusader, only two were still operating two years later.
This film follows Ayub Khan of Unique knitwear as he relocates from Crusader Mill, to a much smaller space in the city. Khan describes the need for the textile businesses to be 'knitted together', and how their presence in old mills has kept the buildings from dereliction.
Though the developers claim to be 'saving' the industrial heritage of Manchester, and creating a 'community' the voices of the South Asian textile community who actually worked in the mill have been missing from the narrative.
"Even in Crusader Works, it was all kept going by the knitwear people. I don't know who else would rent these big spaces. The majority of them would have been derilict"
July 2019 - 'Design Revolutions: Radical Responses' - International Association of Societies of Design Research conference 2019, Manchester School of Art, Manchester, UK