Sunday, 9 March 2014

Whitchurch Silk Mill


Visit to Whitchurch Silk Mill

Yesterday my friend and I went for a walk and a coffee. We went striding along the Wayfarers' Way from where there are good views and interesting things to look at.

A lot of people take this walk, with dogs and children in tow, or they cycle or ride. What ever their chosen means of transport they leave their mark.

We were really on our way to Whitchurch Silk Mill to see a small textile exhibition of works by an embroiderer, Janet Steer, whose work was about walking and travelling in mountains and other places. She had cut up maps and re-assembled them into weavings, added some embroidery on this textile base, or added some printing.

Whitchurch Silk Mill is a fine place. It is mainly run by volunteers, but some silk weaving takes place there on some old looms. It was originally a water mill and the river Test runs clear and fast outside. We had our coffee and cake, a good old chat and then went exploring around the mill, both inside and outside. Here are a few impressions of what we saw:

The room where they fill bobbins and prepare the loom displays some samples of silk that they have woven alongside the filled bobbins of silk.

The old bobbins are sometimes made of fruit woods, such as apple so that the wood will not stain the silk thread should there be some dampness touching it.

In another room the working looms are visible and a prepared old loom demonstrates the assembly of warp on the frame. Suspended weights look quite delicate.

Outside the mill there is quite a bit of duck-life on the river. One duck, having been spurned by his colleagues who were resting for the night, went ahead and plunged for his late dinner.

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