Thursday, 19 June 2014

A wander along the Silk Route.....

I love any excuse for a day out.
Recently I have started a Hand Embroidery course that encourages you to expand your textile horizon - looking for fabrics, colour, textures and generally looking for creative inspiration.

..... so a day out in Essex and Suffolk  - checking out the odd silk Mill Shop or two in Sudbury, PLUS a silk textile archive in Braintree - had to be on the cards.

The Warner Textile Archive was first on the itinerary in Braintree, Essex, followed by visits to factory shops at the working silk mills of Stephen Walters & Sons (owned and ran by the same family for 400 years !) and Vanners  in Sudbury (their silk appeared on the Great British Sewing Bee ).... lots of goodies had to be purchased - of course. By the way, both Silk Factory shops take credit cards !!!!!

The Warner Textile Archive was an eye opener - samples dating back hundreds of years from Warner's and other local Silk Mills.... some of the samples show the drawings and painted art work alongside their finished hand woven silk cloth - stunning, and well worth a visit .....

The Silk Mill at Stephen Walters, had a mill/factory shop with goodies collected from the four mills on the site..... it was a joy to behold.... fabric, yarn, patchwork scrap bags, silk by the metre...... and a large on-site car park !


Tie fabric

Silk, cotton, silk blends plus lots more in these bags of joy

Ready made items available too
Vanner's has fabric by the metre, yarn, premade items (silk bow ties, silk ties, silk handkerchiefs), scrap fabric rummage bags, plus lots more.....Just behind Vanner's is The Gainsborough House and Museum (which I ran out of time to visit!)
I arrived home with my silk filled bags, jolly tired, and looking forward to tomorrow and a lovely day playing with my purchases.

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