Throughout 2022 we are celebrating 50 years of Humphries Weaving. In March we hosted a talk at the prestigious Spencer House, St James’s, London.
Spencer House is widely recognised as one of the most splendid private Houses ever built in London. Today it is the city’s only great eighteenth-century house to survive intact. 50 guests were invited to The Great Room to hear the team reflect on the previous 5 decades, and discuss the future of this weaving company rich with history.
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 Humphries history 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 custom green damask woven for Alnwick Castle, and many thousands of contemporary fabrics for designers on Pimlico Road.
Next, business manager Natalie Jones gave an in-depth explanation of how a project unfolds with Humphries Weaving. The restoration of the Royal Brighton Pavilion was the focus of this section of the talk, and guests were impressed with the meticulous research behind our historic restoration methods. This involved recreating the historic design from a painting, through to colour development and production.
This project was lead by Textile Historian Annabel Westman, and is one of the most famous projects the firm has woven.
Account managers Alex Daniels & Kevin Reeve then had the pleasure of opening a window in to the current studio projects. They discussed the huge variety of different fabrics woven by Humphries, ranging from heavy weight bus cloths, super sumptuous silks for ecclesiastical gowns, and contemporary fabrics to suit modern schemes.
The Spencer House talk was followed by a chance for the guests to take an up close look at the fabrics of the companies history, and a drinks reception. We all look forward to many more years of the Humphries Weaving Company.