Donate Now
Leon Burman

Heritage Weaving Placements

By admin 18.10.2022

Every summer, Whitchurch Silk Mill hosts three woven textiles students for a six-week placement.

During their time with us students:

  • Gain great work experience to add to their CV and a good reference;
  • Learn about winding, warping and weaving on Victorian and early 20th century looms, and the care that we take of our heritage machinery;
  • Apply the theory and practice learnt during their studies in a working environment;
  • Practice organisational, management and personal skills;
  • Discover more about the silk industry at one of only 4 silk mills in the country;
  • Experience working life in a busy working museum;
  • Gain valuable experience of dealing with visitors, customers and answering enquiries;

We interviewed our 2022 students to discover how the placement benefited their studies and their plans for a future career in textile.

Emma, Polly and Amy tell us about their time at the Mill and how it has influenced and supported their future career plans within the woven textile industry.

A placement at the Mill is a stepping stone into the heritage weaving industry, a chance for students to learn rare silk weaving skills and continue the traditional craft. Our very own Weaver Tackler, Olivia, and two Weaver Demonstrators, Emma and Amy, are all graduates of our placement scheme who have gone on the successfully apply for jobs at the Silk Mill.

Hosting the Heritage Weaving Skills Placement is vital for the future of silk weaving in Britain, allowing us to pass on vital knowledge of the endangered craft.

“Without the placement scheme it would be very difficult to hire weavers who have an understanding of working with silk. Thanks to sponsorships funding the programme we can continue to train weavers to preserve Hampshire’s living weaving heritage” – Sue Tapliss, Mill Director

“I’ve really enjoyed my Heritage-skills placement and I can’t wait to use everything I’ve learnt in my final year at Manchester School of Art. 

The placement has been invaluable for allowing me to gain experience  of woven fabric in an industry setting, learn more about traditional weaving practices and gain an insight into the role of a tackler weaver. 

Throughout we have been taught so much from how to: inspect cloth for faults, tassel scarfs, hand twist silk warps, settle the looms and use the archive to create con-temporised designs.  I have also been lucky enough to be trained to use heritage machines such as the doubler and pern/bobbin winder. 

I would recommend the placement to anyone! The Whitchurch community have been so welcoming and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside weavers Marie, Shannon and Olivia, as well as the other placement students.”

— Polly Armond, Placement Student 2022

Keep an eye on our Opportunities page and social media for news about future placement opportunities

heritage weaving placement students kneeling in front of bobbins

Featured in


Our e-tickets are the cheapest and most convenient way to visit!

Buy tickets
  • logo
  • logo
  • logo
  • logo

Sign up for our free newsletter for the latest events, news and offers

Sign me up

Subscribe to Our Mailing List