Schools to learn more about the silk industry

Four primary schools are to learn about the Sudbury silk industry and the process of weaving, as part of a new project.

With funding from the Arts Council and Babergh District Council, £14,800 and £2,000 respectively, over 100 local school children will take part in the new project called Creative Young Weavers.

The initiative, which began a few weeks ago, builds on existing relationships and momentum from the recent National Lottery Heritage Funded project Sudbury Silk Stories, celebrating the return of the Sudbury Silk Festival in 2021.

Four schools across the Sudbury area will take part, including Cavendish CEVC Primary School, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary, St Gregory CEVC Primary School and Woodhall Primary School.

Specialised workshops will provide a unique opportunity for the pupils to explore weaving and expand their knowledge of their unique Sudbury silk heritage.

Working with textile artist Frin Arnold they will produce individual and group woven samples, working with silk waste material from the local mills.

Frin said: “It’s always exciting to be part of a public project like this, working with the community and local schools to inspire creativity whilst being mindful of the environment. I know Sudbury and its heritage is very special for many people across Suffolk and I’m looking forward to working with our young people to get them excited about weaving and creating something from scratch.”

Derek Davis, cabinet member for communities at Babergh District Council, said: “The creation of the Sudbury Silk Stories film and last year’s silk festival was a fantastic way to showcase a key part of Sudbury’s heritage attracting more than 5,000 visitors, involving local schools and partners. We are proud to continue to support these wonderful initiatives and by engaging with the next generation of artists we hope the legacy will continue over coming years.

“Creative Young Weavers is a really interactive way for local children in Babergh to get stuck into learning new textile skills to create their own art using recycled materials produced locally.

“I hope that this work will continue to support our communities for the long-term, playing a key role in achieving the aims of our communities strategy.”

Trish Turner from Sudbury Library, said: “Sudbury Library are very excited to be supporting the continuation of the Sudbury Silk Stories project after its huge success last year. Creative Young Weavers will bring more families and young people into the library and we are proud to celebrate the rich tradition of silk weaving in Sudbury, sharing it with future generations.”

Once created, the pupils work will be put on display in the town to coincide with Suffolk Day, on Saturday, June 20, with a drop-in mini weaving workshop for local families.

For more information about Sudbury Silk Stories and Creative Young Weavers follow the project on Twitter and Instagram, or visit or Sudbury town library.

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