Search

Film telling story of silk in Sudbury launches festival

PUBLISHED: 07:30 05 September 2019

Children from Thomas Gainsborough School pupils visiting the Humphries Weaving Company in Sudbury Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Children from Thomas Gainsborough School pupils visiting the Humphries Weaving Company in Sudbury Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

A film telling the story of silk manufacture in Sudbury will launch a major festival celebrating the industry this weekend.

Children interview a worker for the Sudbury Silk Stories film Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILChildren interview a worker for the Sudbury Silk Stories film Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Sudbury Silk Stories sees current and former staff talk of their experiences in a film exploring how the industry in the town has evolved into one of the world's leading manufacturing centres.

It receives its first screening to an invited audience at Sudbury Town Hall on Friday September 6.

The following day sees the festival, which will see a huge range of patterns and designs on display in St Peter's church cultural venue in the town centre plus talks, exhibitions and tours around the town centre.

The film project saw pupils from Ormiston Academy and Thomas Gainsborough School interviewing silk workers in a scheme funded by Babergh District Council (BDC) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The silk industry in Sudbury dates back to the 1770s when silk weavers moved from Spitalfields in London Picture ALUN CALLENDER/GAINSBOROUGH SILKThe silk industry in Sudbury dates back to the 1770s when silk weavers moved from Spitalfields in London Picture ALUN CALLENDER/GAINSBOROUGH SILK

A BDC spokesman said: "The project has worked with local people and organisations to gather stories and anecdotes to create this film.

"The interviews with current and retired mill staff will be featured in full and uploaded to a dedicated website bringing all the history of the industry and first hand experiences of silk workers together in one place."

You may also want to watch:

The Festival has been organised by artist Ruth Philo working with BDC, Sudbury Town Council, Sudbury in Bloom and Gainsborough's House.

As part of the festival there will be an exhibition of 18th century- inspired costumes by Vivienne Westwood at Gainsborough’s House Picture: VIVIENNE WESTWOODAs part of the festival there will be an exhibition of 18th century- inspired costumes by Vivienne Westwood at Gainsborough’s House Picture: VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

She said: "The silk industry of Sudbury is world-famous and this will be a fantastic event paying tribute to it."

There are five silk companies in Sudbury - Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, The Humphries Weaving Company, Stephen Walters & Sons, David Walters Fabrics and Vanners Silks - which import more than 110 tonnes a year of Chinese silk thread which they then colour and weave.

More than 300 people work in the silk mills, producing cloth for stately homes, fashion houses and high profile customers.

The Queen's coronation robes were milled in the town, as was Princess Diana's wedding dress.

Sudbury has been a major hub of the UK silk industry since the 18th century. Picture:  ALUN CALLENDER/GAINSBOROUGH SILKSudbury has been a major hub of the UK silk industry since the 18th century. Picture: ALUN CALLENDER/GAINSBOROUGH SILK

A highlight of the festival will be at Gainsborough's House museum for an exhibition of Vivienne Westwood ensembles inspired by the 18th century.

Weavers' Piece, an enclosed garden off Siam Place, has been also been restored to show off the plants used to provide the natural dyes.

For more details go to the Sudbury Silk Festival website.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists