The Silk Route is a leading retail supplier of pure, quality silk fabrics in small pieces and by the metre, along with a range of silk thread and complimentary products.
Husband and wife team Hilary and Geoffrey Williams have been involved in silk since 1989. Hilary has always loved embroidery and got her City & Guild in Creative Embroidery in the 1980s. As an embroiderer she started selling silks for embroidery, patchwork and quilting, specialising in small pieces.
To begin with she went to craft fairs, and then heard about a Big Doll Show at Islington. Not realising it was dolls and teddies, it was quite a revelation to discover this new marketplace. It was there they met Muriel Hopwood of Miniatura who invited them along to the next Miniatura Show. And that was another revelation!
“We had no idea about miniatures to start with,” said Hilary. “We were astounded at the amount of people and the amount of money that they would spend on their miniatures. And we were amazed by the work they produced. Some of the pieces are totally beautiful.”
Hilary and Geoffrey attend many sewing, needlework, quilting and craft shows around the country, supplying silks to dressmakers and hobbyists of all kinds, some of which is sourced from India. They have built up a huge range of colours, and silks with small patterns which is so important to miniaturists.
Quality is all important, and one of the things they like about the Miniatura Shows is the fact that Miniatura has kept up the high standards of the exhibitors. Hilary said: We are selling good quality fabric. If you are putting a lot of work into making something, you don’t want it to look cheap. People want good quality fabrics.”
The couple love talking to their customers. Hilary added: “I do like meeting people. I talk to customers over the phone for hours, and it’s so nice when they come up to you at a Miniatura show and introduce themselves to you.”
The Silk Route has a mail order service, and also offer a colour consultancy service to help with your silk requirements.