Thursday, June 20, 2024

Fashion icon visits silk mill to celebrate its commitment to the endangered craft

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Dame Zandra Rhodes visited Whitchurch Skill Mill highlighting their commitment to supporting future designers and weavers and share hope for a more sustainable fashion system where clothing is no longer considered disposable.

During her visit, Dame Zara, heritage weaving manager at the mill, Shannon Bye, and trainee Be Agnew guided the icon around the attraction.

Andover Advertiser: Be Agnew and Shannon Bye showed Dame Zandra Rhodes, centre, around Whitchurch Silk MillThey operated the mill’s historic machinery, including the restored water wheel and a tappet loom weaving the latest ‘Moorhen’ shot silk taffeta.

The mill’s dedicated team of weavers play a pivotal role in safeguarding the silk weaving and silk ribbon weaving crafts, both of which are on the Heritage Crafts Association’s Red List.

Dame Zandra is an icon in the fashion world and has dressed many well-known figures, from Royalty to music legends, including Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury.

Whitchurch Silk Mill also has a rich history in British fashion, having woven silk shirting for Turnbull & Asser, known for catering to the 1960s Swinging London set with vibrant colours and modern designs.

The mill’s sumptuous silks have been worn in period dramas, Hollywood blockbusters, and West End shows. In the early twentieth century, they wove silk linings for Burberry raincoats.

Next month, Shannon Bye and Be Agnew will be in conversation exploring the importance of preserving silk weaving. The event will be hosted on the banks of the River Test at the Mill on Tuesday, 18 June, at 6.30pm. To book a place visit:

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