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Made in Britain

October 19, 2016

Our team day out to the Derby Silk Mill Museum

By: Luke

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As we’re based in Derby – a city with a rich textiles heritage –  we thought it’d be a great idea to visit local landmark and industrial museum, the Silk Mill, to gain inspiration for an upcoming project.

The Silk Mill is undergoing a complete transformation. It’s also just been announced they are to host the iconic Tower Poppies, a ceramic art installation by Derby-based artist Paul Cummins MBE and designer Tom Piper, as part of the Poppies Tour.

The Silk Mill team got in touch with us to ask for help restoring their 18th and 19th century looms and other garment manufacturing equipment. Of course we jumped at the chance and popped in for a visit.

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On arrival, we were greeted by Silk Mill tour guide expert, Eilish, who treated us to a trip around the entire building.It was great to spend time together as a team learning about Derby’s industrial history.

The Silk Mill is in the process of transforming into The Museum of Making and we couldn’t wait to get stuck into all the interactive exhibitions. It was wonderful to meet the amazingly talented volunteers who are the lifeblood of the museum. We can now appreciate the detail that goes into each exhibition on a whole new level.

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The highlight for us, was getting a sneak peek at a 19th century narrow fabric loom. Tucked away upstairs, the loom is in need of some TLC as part of the restorations process. The machine brought back some happy memories for our director Pete, who started out on one just like this many years ago (you’re showing your age Pete!).

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After posing for a team snap with our brilliant tour guide Eilish, we finished our team day out with a couple of bevvies in the aptly named Silk Mill pub. Our designer, Jodie was celebrating her birthday, so we had an excuse to celebrate. Happy Birthday Jodie!

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It’s a wonderful idea for young people of all backgrounds to take an interest in the garment industry and by getting involved with the Silk Mill’s new interactive displays, they can see Derby’s history up close.

If you’ve visited The Silk Mill, send us your favourite snaps on Twitter.

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