Whitchurch Silk Mill – Whitchurch, England - Atlas Obscura

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Whitchurch Silk Mill

Whitchurch, England

The village silk mill weaving Oscar-winning ribbons. 


This 18th-century mill is home to one of the four remaining silk ribbon-weavers in the United Kingdom. These skilled craftspeople are officially an endangered species.

Whitchurch ribbons are not your run-of-the-mill ribbons. Woven on looms dating back to the 1800s, they can be produced in any width, with satin stripes that shine when the ribbons are folded into bows. The real silk makes a satisfying scrunching sound—the technical term is “scroop.” For this reason, Whitchurch ribbons are the top choice for period dramas in theatre, film, and television. You might have seen Whitchurch ribbons trimming Oscar-winning costumes in movies from Titanic to The Duchess to Little Women

Costume Designers love the Whitchurch ribbons for their connection to history. What could be more authentic than silk woven on 200-year-old machines? But far from being a sleepy backwater, the silk mill is full of energy and new ideas. Textile artists are training as weavers, and they offer workshops in sustainable mending and exhibitions of international fiber arts. 

And if you want to make your own Bridgerton-style gown, they have a shop selling silk woven on-site.

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June 20, 2024

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