Talk by Humphries Weaving: The Spencer House Silks
Humphries Weaving share their decades of experience designing and weaving custom fabrics, including the stunning silk damasks created for the restoration of Spencer House, one of London’s last surviving aristocratic ‘palaces’. After the talk, guests can view Humphries Weaving’s work in the context of the magnificent 18th-century State Rooms.
Spencer House is a rare survival of an 18th-century London aristocratic palace. Originally built for the first Earl Spencer between 1756 and 1766, the house was later the focus of an ambitious restoration project by RIT Capital Partners plc under the chairmanship of Lord Rothschild. Between 1985 and 1995, the State Rooms were restored to their former splendour by a huge team of specialist craftspeople, historians, conservators and designers.
Among them was the renowned firm of British fabric manufacturers, Humphries Weaving. Utilising traditional techniques and their expert knowledge of 18th-century textile patterns and colours, Humphries Weaving designed and created a range of silk damask fabrics that have become synonymous with Spencer House. Employed as furniture upholstery, curtains and wall silks, these beautiful fabrics form an integral part of the rooms’ distinctive characters.
In this talk, Humphries Weaving discuss their work at Spencer House and take you through their entire design and weaving process, incorporating archival research, the importance of hand-drawing for accurate replication, the selection of weave patterns, the development of custom colours and, finally, the moment when all of these elements come together on the loom.
The talk takes place in the magnificent Great Room, surrounded by examples of Humphries Weaving’s work. After the talk there is an opportunity to explore the rest of the house.