November 2022 Meeting

Silk – Art and Design

A Talk by Rachel Thackeray on 9th November 2022.

Rachel gave us a fascinating glimpse into the beginnings of computer-generated print design in the Silk Industry. She started the talk with an interesting account of her career journey: initially working in pattern-cutting in fashion design in 1968 at the Colchester Institute, she then became, at the age of 18, the first female in the design department at the silk factory, Vanners, when computer-aided design was in its infancy. She continued this type of design work at Stephen Walters Silk factory.

After leaving to have a family, she took watercolour classes in adult education and worked in admin at Sudbury Upper School which became Ormiston Academy, where she was given the job of Art Technician.

At the age of 46, in order to become a teacher, Rachel went to the University of Colchester, studying Fashion Design, Screen Printing, Digital Illustration and Textiles. She won a New Designers award selected by Paul Smith.

Rachel then gave us a fascinating account of how she designs silk scarves using inspiration from her uncle’s large collection of historical postcards of Sudbury combined with her own photos of local sights.

A brilliant talk – well done, Rachel.

Rachel’s website is .


The next meeting will have a Christmas Theme. It is on Wednesday 14 December at 10am in The Granary, Quay Lane. There will be a quiz, some short readings, and music. Refreshments will include mince pies and mulled wine.

All members are asked to consider whether they could contribute to the society by joining the committee; new recruits are urgently needed.

There will be no meeting in January 2023.

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