The Silk Mill

Finally made it to the Silk Mill in Whitchurch yesterday. Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to visit somewhere so local!

The mill (now museum) was powered by a water wheel and was built to process silk thread into fabric. From bobbin winding to weaving it is a fascinating process and an attraction for both engineers and artists – so a perfect day out for my family.

Reuse or Recycle?

While we were there we spotted a stack of large plastic bobbins which the silk thread is delivered on. There can’t be recycled so we’re free for visitors to take and reuse or up-cycle. Obviously I can’t resist a challenge to reuse a waste product so we picked up ten and I made my some carry them around the rest of the exhibition!

Recycled sari silk fibres stored in plastic bobbins

Back home after a nice lunch is a sunny cafe I popped to the studio to try out my new storage idea. My recycled sari silk fibres have been all mixed together in a tatty cardboard box for ages. Feeling very organised to have them all separated my colour in these plastic tubes. The holes in the tube mean I can even store my rainbow dyed fibres and pick out the colours I need along the length.

Wish we had picked up more now. These will be great for workshops at Ardington School when I have to pack all the fibre collections into the car.

Discover New Artists

There was also a fantastic exhibition of artwork made my local textile artists using silk products. I discovered several new artists to follow for inspiration.

If you’re a spinner, weaver, engineer or historian, this place is worth a visit.

What to see next?

I’ve seen the silk worm to silk cocoon process at Berrycroft Hub in Ashbury. I’ve seen the silk thread to weaved fabric process at The Silk Mill in Whitchurch. Now I just need to find somewhere that does the middle part of the silk process – from cocoon to fibre to thread. If you know anywhere that does this please let me know!

Using silk cocoons and carrier rods in textile art
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