A few weeks ago whilst in Coventry, I happened to drop in on The Herbert Museum. The large ground floor exhibition area had just been refurbished and it was the first day of its relaunch.
Here I spent a couple of hours marvelling at the collection of ribbons and woven artifacts dating from the 18Th Century, and was intrigued to find out that Coventry was the centre of woven silk ribbons for over a century. My interest in woven items has been growing over the last couple of years, and in Venice this year I was amazed at the woven silks and ribbons which they used in period dresses.
I mentioned the Ribbon Exhibition at the WI craft group, and several of my friends there were able to tell me more about the items that Cash produced.
I was disappointed that the shop at the Herbert did not have any of Cash's items for sale. It is very strange that where they have a wonderful exhibition, there are not items for sale. Where there is a local item of such excellent quality, I feel it ought to be really showcased and that people around must be really proud. I think we must support British Made items of such quality, and enjoy them and ensure that such companies continue to prosper.
This is the start of my collection of woven silk pictures. The first in middle is that of a Peregrine Falcon. I picked this up at a bring and buy coffee morning. The next two, I bought as second hand items from a Furniture Shop in Kenilworth. The detail is superb: the fluffy white feather on the robin's breast look as if the wind is blowing them about, and the designer has managed to capture the stillness of the moment on the Kingfisher woven picture. I'm hoping to receive Cash's book marks as birthday presents in the future, well I dropped a big hint to Mr S, hope he was listening.
Cash is still in business and produces name tapes and items such as bookmarks and greeting cards. This past weekend I was delighted to find some at the Coventry Transport Museum. Veronica and I marvelled at the current collection. The design, details and the colours are really beautiful. I picked up two booklets: Silken Weave, A History of Ribbon Making in Coventry from 1770 to 1860, and Still Weaving - J and J Cash Ltd of Coventry. These two booklets are excellent sources on the history of a craft and the effect that the industry has had on the character and development of a City.