To celebrate the 50 years of Humphries Weaving, in March 2023 the team hosted a Gainsborough Gallery Talk in Sudbury, Suffolk.
Our local town of Sudbury was home to the renown portrait and landscape artist, Thomas Gainsborough. He is considered to be one of the most important British artists of the 18th century, and lived just down the road from the Humphries Weaving showroom & mill.
Previously known as “Gainsborough’s House,” the museum and art gallery will be known as a National Centre for Gainsborough, and house paintings and artefacts belonging and made by the artist. These paintings will adorn pure silk damask in am 18th Century design and colour, woven by Humphries Weaving. The Gainsborough Gallery Talk explained the complex process behind this landmark renovation.
Guests ranged from some of the countries top Interior Designers, upholsterers, and textile’s historians, some of whom have played an important role in the history of Humphries Weaving since the company was founded by Richard at just 20 years of age.
The talk began with Richard Humphries MBE offering an insightful look into the journey of Humphries, from the foundations of the business to present day. Initially guests were welcomed to an exclusive look at the first fabrics handwoven by Humphries Weaving, including a lovely vertical stripe for a top London Decorator. This was in high contrast to rich gold and geranium brocatelle handwoven for the Palace of Westminster and figured damasks.
Through the fabrics guests saw the journey from handweaving in the basement of Ashburton Lodge, to power weaving at the Sudbury Silk Mills. Here the company has woven fabrics for Royal Palaces, Historic Houses, National Trust properties, and many thousands of contemporary fabrics for designers on Pimlico Road.
Account Manager Alex Daniels then offered an insight into the complex restoration of the custom dyed pure silk damask woven at the Sudbury Silk Mills for the new gallery walling. Alex also spoke about the donor panels, featuring woven paintings by Thomas Gainsborough and the names of all the key donors for the project.
The Gainsborough’s House talk was followed by a chance for the guests to take an up close look at the fabrics of the companies history, and explore the new Gainsborough House & Gallery.
We would like to thank Gainsborough’s House for hosting us at this event, allowing us to use there new Landscape Studio and for opening the rest of the gallery up for a private viewing.
We all look forward to many more years of the Humphries Weaving Company, and to helping with more grand schemes like this.