Silken Threads: A Journey from China

Thursday 12 June 2014, 10:30am - 12pm


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Silk was and still is a luxury fabric. It is a natural fibre which is as strong as steel and has isothermal properties. SilkSilks.Blocks.Collage.float yarn takes dye well and reflects light to produce rich glowing colours. It can be woven into many types of complex cloth.

Throughout its long history it has been sought after as a status symbol by Emperors and people of high rank.

However, once the secret of cultivation of the mulberry tree, the food of the silkworm, and the art of sericulture left China, silk production spread rapidly across Eurasia and became available to a larger population.

Our speaker Thelma Whiston will look at the many uses of silk over the decades – from the days of trade when it was used as a form of currency to the present day and its use in medicine, engineering and cosmetics.

Silk production has been part of Thelma Whiston’s family since 1796. The family specialised in hand block printing on silk and later silk screen-printing. It was this connection that encouraged Thelma to research silk’s unique and varied uses throughout the centuries until the resent day. Thelma volunteered for the Macclesfield Silk Museums Trust in the United Kingdom for 20 years. She worked as a guide and a guest speaker, visiting many organisations to generate interest in the museum’s silk collections.

Registration required. To register, use the ‘Book now’ button or phone the office on (04) 381 7051.