Silk: silk road, silk fibre, silk weaving
The world of fashion would not be what it is today without silk. The Romans immediately fell in love with silks allure - silks from China where, for nearly 3,000 years, silk was China’s best-kept secret. Silk can be produced from a range of insect larvae but became most widely produced from silkworms, the Bombyx Mandarina, and its domesticated descendant, Bombyx mori. China developed production techniques that gave it a monopoly on production, transporting its silk to the rest of the world via the ancient silk trading routes. It was not only garments that were made using silk but paper, fishing lines, bowstrings and canvases for painting. Although the finest silks could now be argued to be produced in Italy, China’s influence in the history of silk is indisputable.
Silk’s ability to absorb colour when dyed, its lightness and its effervescent glow mean it is often considered one of, or the finest of fabrics. It continues to catch attention in a room when worn and adorns the finer aspects of our homes and accessories. Its enduring qualities are imbued with wealth, glamour, and status. From silk weaving mills in the UK, to research into silk trading along the silk road and the history of silk’s significance across the world, our Silk event will bring together a range of voices in the silk industry that will traverse time, continents and expertise.
List of speakers
Angela Sheng began working on the Asian textile collection at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1985. In 1996 she embarked on researching the “Silk Road” silks as a participant of Reuniting Turfan’s Scattered Treasures project (jointly organized by Yale and Peking University).
Mary Schoeser is a leading authority in the field of textiles and is the Honorary President of the UK Textile Society.
Neil Thomas of Gainsborough Silk Mill
Neil Thomas has over 30 years of experience in the Jacquard woven textiles industry all spent at Gainsborough.
Rezia Wahid MBE
Rezia Wahid is an artist-weaver, who specialises in hand weaving with fine yarns, mainly silk.
Sue Tapliss of Whitchurch Silk Mill
Sue Tapliss is a museum curator, Director of Whitchurch Silk Mill, the oldest working silk mill in the UK.
CLICK HERE for more information about the speakers and their presentations.
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