Whitchurch Silk Weaving Mill

A visit to a working silk mill in Whitchurch UK

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I had a delightful visit to the Whitchurch Silk Mill in Whitchurch, UK. It is about 1 1/2 hour drive southwest from London in Hampshire. Whitchurch Silk Mill is a true working mill, still producing silk yardage, using 19th Century weaving looms. The mill is open to the public 6 days per week, Tuesday – Sunday and the visitor can see the weavers at work on the week days.

The mill employs 2 weavers, a warper, an engineer to keep the equipment running and admin staff. Much of the mill is run by volunteers who share an interest in keeping this early 19th Century mill alive.

The silk mill specializes in small run silk and silk blend weaves: 25 meter to 250 meter runs. They produce Taffeta, Organza and Ottoman silks.

The silk is woven at 300-500 ends per inch, with approx. 10500 ends per warp. It takes approximately 1 week to prepare a warp, and about 3 weeks to warp a loom, so whenever possible, warps are tied on or attached to the previous warp on the loom.

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Whitchurch Silk Mill
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Whitchurch Silk Mill Shop

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Silk skeins are being reeled onto bobbins.

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Silk Weaving Looms
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View from the Tea Shop window

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Woven Ribbon
Several bands of ribbon are woven on one warp. These are then cut after removing them from the loom.

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Organza

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Silk Moire

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Silk
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Hand Weaving Books
Weaving on a Little Loom (Everything you need to know to get started with weaving, includes 5 simple projects

The Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand Weaving for the Beginning Weaver
The Weaver’s Companion (The Companion Series)
Learning to Weave
The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory
A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns: From the Friends of Handwoven
Krokbragd: How to Design & Weave
Doubleweave: On Four to Eight Shafts
Double Weave: Theory and Practice<
Magic of Doubleweave: The Best of Weaver’s (Best of Weaver’s series)
Weaving In the Arts: Widening the Learning Circle

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Author: Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about tradtional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi