Latest News

Premiere Vision

19th - 21st September 2017
Stand 5J20

We invite you to work with our team to create bespoke designs and colours for your collections.

Together we can create new colourways, playing with our extensive palettes of yarns to create beautiful and original fabrics woven to order.

Autumn/Winter 2018 Collections.

Neckwear. Womenswear. Menswear.

Email us

Stephen Walters & Sons collaborate with Central Saint Martins Weave Students

At Stephen Walters & Sons, we are proud of our heritage - but as well as looking back, celebrating our lengthy history as one of Britain's foremost silk weavers, we like to look forward to a new era of beautiful fabrics designed and woven in the UK.

With this in mind, we love to work in partnership with leading design colleges, giving students a taste of what it's like to work in the industry, and giving a chosen few the chance to see their designs come to life.

Earlier this year we were delighted to collaborate with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, running a competition for some of the country's brightest up-and-coming creative talent: second year weave students studying for their BA (Hons) Textile Design at the college.

The students' brief was to create innovative Menswear Jacketing cloth for AW18, inspired by the diverse cultures and location of Spitalfields - the original home of Stephen Walters & Sons - whether historic or contemporary. They were to ensure that their designs were both fit for purpose and desired by their chosen market segment, and demonstrate a consideration of weave structures, fibre selection and post-weave finishing.

The culmination of the six-week project was an assessment & critique day, where each student had the opportunity to present their research, development and swatches to a panel of industry specialists, which included our own Managing Director, Julius Walters.

After a very difficult judging decision was made, the panel eventually chose Haruna Yamato and Henrietta Johns to visit our Sudbury mill and bring their designs to fruition. Their final fabrics can be seen in the Stephen Walters & Sons AW18 Collection at Premiere Vision, Paris 19th - 21rd September 2017, Stand 5J20.

In addition, Henrietta Johns and Harriet Eavis were awarded work placements by judge Joshua Kane, which will give them an insight into Menswear tailoring and the commercial realities of developing a fabric collection.

We would like to thank Joshua Kane and Dean Gomilsek-Cole of Turnbull & Asser for their enthusiastic participation in the project, and generosity in providing some exciting opportunities for our winners. In addition, we would like to thank Philippa Brock, Woven Textiles Pathway Leader at Central Saint Martins, who - with Andrew Stevenson of Paul Smith and Kirsty McDougall of Rare Thread - brought this project to life for the students and Stephen Walters & Sons.

"We continuously work with students and colleges because the next generation of designers are the lifeblood of the textile industry, and we want to support them in gaining the commercial awareness they need to get their foot in the door," says Julius Walters, Managing Director and the 10th generation of the Walters family to run the mill. "That's not the whole story, though - when you get a great team of people coming together from fashion, education and industry it's not only great fun, but something magical happens and you often end up with outcomes that are somehow greater than the sum of their parts. It's exciting to be at the cutting edge in this way, and we're already looking forward to our next collaboration."





Silk: From Spitalfields to Sudbury
17th June - 8th October

Gainsborough's house, host to exhibition examining the silk weaving industry through time. The exhibition presents the history of silk weaving in Sudbury from Spitalfields and also showcases the different processes used in design and manufacture over the years.

We are delighted to have been able to provide some of our fabric designs for the exhibition to demonstrate the variety of work being produced by the silk weaving industry in Sudbury today.

To learn more about the exhibition please click HERE

Gainsborough Silk Exhibition

Neckwear Student Design Project 2017

The aim of this project is to support promising students and to forge links between education and industry. The project brief was to create a neckwear design that would appeal to our customers and be included in our AW18 neckwear collection.

Congratulations to Heather Robertson a 3rd year student from Nottingham Trent University who created the winning design.

Heather took inspiration from the Moroccan theme provided in the project brief and created a geometric pattern with a modern feel.
Heather visited Stephen Walters on the 30th May 2017 for a tour of the mill and the design studio. She was presented with a length of woven fabric for her portfolio and a tie which has been woven from her winning design.

Stephen Walters will be running similar projects over the coming years.

Student Sponsorship 2017

Premiere Vision

Spring Summer 2018 Collections

We invite you to work with our team to create bespoke designs and colours for your collections.

Together we can create new colourways, playing with our extensive palettes of yarns to create beautiful and original fabrics woven to order.

Neckwear. Womenswear. Menswear.

Malcolm the Weaver Book Sponsorship

Malcom the Weaver - Weaver of a Life in Colour

In association with SDC, we have played a part in making it possible for 20 schools in Sudbury, Suffolk to receive the book "Weaver of a Life in Colour". The book is designed to develop children's understanding of colour concepts whilst also encouraging and inspiring them to be creative through an introduction to weaving and will be a wonderful addition to the schools, especially for a town so immersed in the silk weaving industry. The books were sponsored through SDC which are a charity dedicated to education in colour

2016 Sponsorships and donations

In 2016 we were able to support the following projects; either directly or more often in association with the amazing work our staff have undertaken personally:

Brain Tumour UK
British Heart Foundation
Cancer Research
Cornard Bowling Club
Crohns & Colitus UK
East Anglian Childrens Hospices
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust
Firefighters Charity
Funding Neuro
Global Giving CLPALI
Macmillan Cancer Support
SHINE Spina Bifida
Suffolk Artlink
The Distinguished Gentlemans Ride
Willow Foundation

Malcolm the Weaver

Premiere Vision

AW17 launches in Paris.

Stephen Walters and Sons is proud to introduce its AW17 collection, to be launched at Premiere Vision (13th-15th September 2016, Stand 5J20).

As ever, a wealth of technical knowledge and generations of expertise has been combined with unique creativity and vision, which translates into a compilation of refined, sophisticated fabrics with an ultra-modern spirit.

If you are not attending the show and would prefer to visit our mill, or have a meeting at your offices, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Worshipful Company of Weavers

At the recent prestigious Worshipful Company of Weavers Textile Awards, John Maisey from Sudbury's leading silk weavers Stephen Walters & Sons Ltd was presented with the Weaver Company's top award, The Silver Medal.

John Maisey has had a career in the manufacturing of fine silk Jacquard fabrics for clothing and furnishings in the UK. He began his textile career in the early 1970's at the country's oldest silk weavers, the family firm of Stephen Walters & Sons in rural Sudbury Suffolk. Beginning on the work shop floor he began to realise shuttle driven production would be replaced by modern rapier weaving. Card operated Jacquards would give way to computer driven looms, and would require an understanding of the technical aspects to keep pace with an ever changing platform. In that period John embraced the giant steps of textile innovation taking place. During the 1990's Walters production was transformed with separate mills for both furnishings and silk men's wear. John became technical manager for the whole group and embraced the need to further modernise not only the weaving but all preproduction processes.

As well as having the ability to realign the manufacturing needs of the company he also was able to mastermind a new dye works to improve the firm's green credentials and reduce pollution and chemical wastage. Reducing the firm's footprint in order to reinvest in the latest generation of equipment has meant John has been a major contributor to a new confidence in the silk weaving of the Walters business.

The Worshipful Company of Weavers is the oldest livery of the City of London, having started in 1133 and pre-dating the Lord Mayor's Office.

Read the article HERE

Sudbury Silk Mills 1976

In 1976 Anglia TV visited our silk mill here in Sudbury, Suffolk. The outcome of the visit was this fantastic clip which shows the different elements of the silk weaving process at the mill. The film features a conversation with David Walters, Managing director at the time, who explains a brief history of silk weaving moving to Sudbury and how the intricate and beautiful jacquard designs were created.

This footage is wonderfully offset by the modern tour of the factory in the video below with Dominic Addison. It successively highlights the advancements in our weaving technology but also demonstrates that our traditions are at the centre of the mill and the quality of our production is still in demand today.

Watch the film here

David Walters

From a single thread...

We were approached by Tokyo based film maker Eiji Iwakawa from Fu Films who was interested in making a film about the journey of a fabric from yarn, to finished jacquard woven design.

His short film gives you an exclusive insight into some of the processes that we adopt in order to create our unique fabric collections and bespoke customer designs. This a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes at one of England's oldest jacquard weaving mills.

The film was shot on location at our mill in Sudbury, Suffolk and features an interview with Dominick Addison, Sales Manager for Japan.

SDC case study on Diapod effluent treatment

We're often asked to explain more about our green credentials, and our state of the art dyehouse is a one great example of how manufacturing can be done without cost to the environment.
The pioneering type of technology that we use ensures that the wastewater from dyeing our yarns is so clear that we are permitted to discharge it directly into the drains.
A full article on this technology was published in The Colourist magazine and is reproduced here in full with kind permission from the Society of Dyers and Colourists.

Read the article HERE

Sponsorship and Donations

In 2015 we were able to support the following projects; either directly or more often in association with the amazing work our staff have undertaken personally:

Cornard United Football Club Funding Neuro Great Ormond Street Hospital Childrens Charity
SHINE Spina Bifida Sudbury Town Council (Fire victims) The Motor Neurone Disease Association
The Tyler Hughes Fund Unicef (Syria) Willow Foundation

Huguenots of Spitalfields

"Stephen Walters & Sons Ltd participated in Huguenot Summer, organising a tour of their Sudbury weave shed. The opportunity to handle material used to make Princess Diana's wedding dress, whilst there, was the highlight of the visit, as was the sheer energy of seeing and hearing the looms at work. It emphasised the manner in which the Huguenot generosity and integration ensured that the weaving skills they brought to this country - transforming the textile industry - have had a lasting and significant effect, still apparent today. This was one of over 130 events, taking place from Plymouth to Norwich, nearly 4,000 people have participated. The party from London were captivated to see so many weaver's houses in Sudbury and returned realising the contribution the Huguenots played in the town."

Charlie Dewet - 18/08/15

To read the full newsletter, click HERE

Merchant and Makers

In December 2014 Julius Walters was interviewed by Merchant and Makers, an online library documenting craft and design and heritage in the modern day. In it he shares a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the way that Stephen Walters produces fabrics for the world's leading designers

Read the article HERE


Twist catches up with Chloe Armitage, head of womenswear at Stephen Walters & Sons Ltd, to find out how the Sudbury-based silk weaver formulates the export strategies that make it a successful manufacturer worldwide.

Read the article HERE

Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia

Stephen Walters are participating in the Masterpieces Exhibition, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia Norwich.

The exhibition is open to the public on 14 September 2013 - 24 February 2014.

Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia celebrates the rich and distinctive artistic heritage and culture of East Anglia, from antiquity through to the present day. One of the most ambitious exhibitions ever staged in the region, "Masterpieces" presents over 270 objects that the region has inspired, produced and collected, as well as treasures that have long been associated with the area. The exhibition is comprised of loans from over 60 major public and private collections, including the Royal Collection, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery and Norfolk Museum and Archaeology Service.

Stephen Walters have loaned archive books & fabric to form part of the "Masterpieces" exhibition. The exhibition brings together an extraordinarily diverse selection of material from across the visual arts: from paintings, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, glass, and jewellery, to photography, graphic design, fashion and costume, product and textile design - from the prehistoric period to the present day. The juxtapositions promise to be sensational: a flint hand axe worked at least 700,000 years ago will sit alongside an ironstone pebble from the same Norfolk beach carved into a reclining figure by Henry Moore in 1930.

Stephen Walters

Stephen Walters

Student Sponsorship

This season we are proud to have offered sponsorship in kind to the very talented Marcus Richardson, who is in his final year at London College of Fashion studying womenswear design. Marcus is an American student whose biology and theatre background create an intriguing juxtaposition of historical/classic silhouettes with undertones of inspiration from nature.

His final year collection entitled “Deteriorating Splendor“ is focused around the past grandeur of his hometown of San Diego, California; from its development as an Edwardian beach resort to the Mexican-American gang culture that started with the 1940’s Zoot suit youths to the present day Cholos. The fabrics were inspired by rusting fences on the beaches of his coastal city, as a metaphor for the deterioration of the city’s grand past to its urbanized present state.

To enquire about student sponsorship please
email us

Stephen Walters

Happy Bags

In 2011 Sudbury based coat manufacturer, Lavenham Leisure, established a campaign to help children in Japan who are still suffering the effects of the earthquake and Tsunami which struck the country in March of the same year.

In the summer of 2013 Stephen Walters were invited to join and contribute towards the campaign by our mutual commercial partner in Japan. Our appeal involved all members of staff, friends and family donating English children's books which would be given to the children in Japan along with a quilted Lavenham book bag.

The campaign proved to be hugely successful and we collected over 300 books within 2 weeks of launching the appeal. Thank you to all those people who donated.

In November 2013 our Managing Director, Julius Walters and Dominick Addison, Sales Manager for Japan, visited some of the worst affected areas in Sendai and Fukushima, they met students and teachers at various schools and nurseries within those areas to hand out the Happy Bags.

Stephen Walters

Stephen Walters

Stephen Walters Stephen Walters Stephen Walters
Stephen Walters Stephen Walters Stephen Walters

Comic Relief - Mission Impossible.

On Friday the 22th of February Stephen Walters was asked to achieve the impossible. Radio Suffolk phoned and asked us if we could come up with an idea for a Comic Relief Tie, design an image, design fabric, weave and make 20 ties in the space of 10 days! So we said "of course!"

This project is part of a Suffolk wide initiative by Radio Suffolk to get as many people as possible to wear either wild and wacky ties or comedy ties on Red Nose day - and to raise money in the process. We felt that we had to be part of such a noble cause. Especially if this also raised the profile of tie wearing and the Silk Industry in Suffolk

So after a visit on the following Monday from Radio Suffolk to the Mill, the wheels were set in motion. The whole company was involved in coming up with ideas for the design and also selecting the final design. It was then all hands on deck and all departments were then involved with producing the fabric. After only 5 days from the initial brief, the fabric left the building to be made into ties.

Radio Suffolk reappeared on Friday the 8th of March to take delivery of the 20 prized ties - featuring real hair and 25 different red noses. These will be worn by TV presenters, MP's and Richard Curtis - co-founder of Comic Relief.

Stephen Walters

First Lady wears Stephen Walters Fabric

First Lady Michelle Obama at the presidential inaugural parade in Washington, DC, wearing Stephen Walters fabric in a Thom Browne dress.

Stephen Walters

The Last Telegram

Liz Trenow is interviewed by the Express about the inspiration behind her novel 'The Last Telegram'.

Read the article HERE

Stephen Walters

Spitalfields Life

In 2011 Julius Walters was interviewed by Spitalfields Life.

Read the article HERE

Stephen Walters

Our Fabric Tie Fabric and FacingsAcessoriesReady to Wear