Last year, we were lucky enough to run one of our wreath workshops at Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire. We had so much fun teaching there that we’ve scheduled to come back this year for two more workshops. What’s more, Whitchurch Silk Mill is such an incredible venue with such a rich history that we thought we would share a bit more about it and how you can book yourself onto one of our workshops there. We don’t often get down to Hampshire. So here it goes…
A History of Whitchurch Silk Mill
Whitchurch Silk Mill is a Georgian water mill located in rural Hampshire. It is the oldest silk mill in the UK still in its original building. Just take a look at how pretty it is below…
It’s built on Frog Island, around which the River Test and its tributaries flow. The waters of the river have provided the mill with its charge for 200 years. They power the massive, cast iron water wheel. It’s a true gem of industrial heritage!
As if the pretty building and scenic location weren’t enough, Whitchurch Silk Mill is ensuring that the craft of silk weaving is being passed down through the generations. Heritage silk weaving skills are a priority for the mill with weaving taking place on looms that date back to the 1890s! Did you know that it can take at least three weeks to thread up a loom before weaving can begin? It is hard for us to imagine having to wait that long to prepare our next rag rug project before we get stuck in.
Once started, the weaving itself is a relatively quick process. Apparently, it is possible to weave five metres of plain silk taffeta a day. That still sounds like hard work though. At the silk mill, you can have a go on both a physical loom and a virtual one (to play around with different weaves and colours). I had a lot of fun in my lunch break!
Rag Rug Workshops at Whitchurch Silk Mill:
Like Whitchurch Silk Mill, we at Ragged Life like to pass on our craft to other textile lovers. So, on that note, we have two rag rug workshops scheduled to take place at the silk mill this year.
So, if you’re interested in learning to rag rug and you’re local to Hampshire or even if you’re not all that local but you’re intrigued by this beautiful textile landmark and would like to take this opportunity to visit and learn a new skill, book onto one of our workshops directly on the Whitchurch Silk Mill website here. Should you need help locating the mill the address is:
28 Winchester St, Whitchurch RG28 7AL. Click here to view the location on Google Maps.
Below are a few extra details about the specifics of the two workshops we are running.
Full Day Rag Rug Bouquet Workshop
Join our full day rag rug bouquet workshop on Thursday 12th March to make a timeless bouquet of 7 rag rug flowers ready to take home. This workshop would make a perfect gift for Mothers Day or just a beautiful addition to your mantlepiece. During the day you will gain plenty of 1-2-1 support to learn all three rag rug techniques that can be transferable to any future project you wish to pursue. This full day workshop will run from 10:30-16:00. Book your place here.
Full Day Wreath Workshop
Come along to our full day wreath workshop on Tuesday, 1st December to create the perfect Christmas or alternative wreath. This workshop is designed for those that are eager to take home a beautiful finished decoration ready to display proudly in time for the festive season. This workshop offers lots of 1-2-1 guidance for you to learn all three rag rug techniques and gain skills to unlock future creative projects. This full day workshop will run from 10:30-16:00. Book your place here.
Q1: Is everything included in the workshop?
All our rag rug workshops include all the tools and materials you will need, however we do ask that you bring along a packed lunch for any full day workshops or be prepared to pop out to pick something up. We’re in the centre of Whitchurch, so there are a few options around, plus the silk mill has a wonderful cafe.
Q2: Is there parking nearby?
General parking can be found on nearby streets, but please be aware of any restrictions in place. There are also three free car parks located within easy walking distance of the Mill and there are two parking spaces reserved for disabled visitors within the Mill forecourt.
More information can be found directly on the mill’s website here.
These are just a couple of common questions we get asked, but if you do think of anything else that we haven’t covered then do send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you. You can also get a bit more of an insight into our rag rug workshops by checking out one of our recent blog posts about our workshops in York here.
Or if you just want to stay informed about future classes and all things rag rugging, why not join our fortnightly Rag Rug Inspiration Newsletter here.
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