Monday 18 June 2012

Outing to the Beckford Silk Centre

On 18th June the Oxford Chapter visited the Beckford Silk Centre in the Cotswolds. The centre is one of only a couple of places left in the UK where silk is screen-printed by hand. The trip was fully booked and greatly enjoyed by all.

Some of the audience preparing for the introduction to the tour

We were shown round by Anne Hopkins, the daughter of the founder of the Beckford Silk Centre

We were able to watch the screen-printing in progress. Here, the printer is pushing the dye over the screen to create a pattern on the silk underneath.

The screens act as very sophisticated stencils, and every design has a screen for every colour. Thus the screen-printers build the design onto the silk colour by colour till the picture is complete. 

Here the screen printer is creating a series of silk scarves which have been commissioned by a museum. After being printed, the colour will be fixed by steaming, and then the silk will be ironed and cut and finally each scarf will be hand finished by ladies living in the village of Beckford.

After completing the tour and making some purchases in the shop, the Guild members all enjoyed picnics in the bright sunshine on the lawn outside the centre.

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