The Warner Textile Archive holds an inspiring and unique collection of more than 60,000 textiles, 10,000 paper designs, pattern books, record books, photographs and documentary material. Elegant velvets and brocades are preserved alongside vibrant printed works, all reflecting the stylistic currents of their time. The collection also casts light on the textile production process; print blocks, photographs and Jacquard cards provide an insight into the weaving and printing techniques used by generations of Warner employees. In addition, it preserves nearly 1,000 textile items collected by the Warner designers for inspiration over the years, including hand beaded caps from Africa, embroidered kimonos and a stitched coat from Kazakhstan.
The Archive is housed in an original Warner & Sons mill building. The old power loom shed was bought and restored to conservation standard to store and display the company’s remarkable legacy.
Located just five minute walk from Braintree Museum, the Archive is located at the original Warner Silk Mills site where fabrics were made for the Royal Family and for State occasions such as the Coronation in 1953. The building that houses the Archive is the old power loom shed that has been restored to conservation standards to store and display the company’s remarkable legacy.
In 2005 Braintree District Museum Trust acquired the Warner Textile Archive and thanks to a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund created a state of the art research and visitor facility. The Archive aims to make the rich collection accessible to all. The Archive is open by appointment.