Sudbury firm's film role pride

A SUFFOLK business has provided the stunning backdrop to a star-studded cast in one of the year's most eagerly anticipated films.The Sudbury-based Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company played a key role in the latest big screen adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice, due to hit cinemas this week.

A SUFFOLK business has provided the stunning backdrop to a star-studded cast in one of the year's most eagerly anticipated films.

The Sudbury-based Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company played a key role in the latest big screen adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice, due to hit cinemas this week.

Alongside the talents of stars Kiera Knightley, Donald Sutherland, Judi Dench and Matthew MacFadyen, specially-woven fabrics provided by the company form an integral part of the film's rich vision.

In particular, lengths of Strasbourg Damask were deemed perfect for the lavish curtains in the film's pivotal ballroom scene where Elizabeth Bennet (played by Knightley) first encounters Mr Darcy (MacFadyen).


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In return, staff from the company were treated to a taste of red carpet treatment at the film's premiere in Leicester Square, where they got to rub shoulders with the Hollywood elite.

Sales director Neil Thomas said: "It was a fantastic experience. To be honest I'm not the biggest fan of period dramas, but the film was excellent.

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"We usually don't get a chance to see the finished product in situ, so it was brilliant to see our fabrics up there on the screen."

While access to the premiere was limited, the rest of the 25-strong workforce are also being treated to a trip to the cinema to see how their handiwork fared.

Mr Thomas said the company had been chosen for its attention to detail and authentic dyeing and weaving methods, using traditional looms dating back to the 1920s, and its ability to make-up relatively small orders and respond to the unique demands of filmmakers.

"We have done film work before. But the majority of our work ends up in houses, and we do a lot of work with English Heritage and the National Trust in period properties," he said.

The Gainsborough Silk Company was formed in Sudbury in 1903 and since then has gained a reputation as one of the best practitioners in the business, preserving and furthering traditional skills, but also with the ability to combine with state of the art technology to respond to modern requirements.

Recent commissions include fabric woven especially for the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, featuring the programme's logo incorporated into the cloth.

And, following a successful collaboration providing costume material for Pirates of the Caribbean, the film's producers were so pleased they have signed up Gainsborough for two forthcoming sequels to the film, ordering reams of fabric and ensuring the company maintains a worldwide presence on the silver screen.

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