The Royal Pavillion – Brighton: His Majesty’s Geranium and Gold Silk

Humphries Weaving of Sudbury, Suffolk was involved in the prestigious national restoration at the Brighton Pavilion Saloon 

Built for George IV when he was Prince of Wales, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton is one of the most extravagant buildings of its age.

The room is now faithfully restored to its 1823 glory after conservation and restoration work started in 2002 and costing in the region of £390,000.

Highlights of the restoration include silver and ‘pearl white’ wall decoration using platinum leaf and the revitalisation of the magnificent gilding. A newly commissioned reproduction circular carpet by Axminster Carpets, with a lavish design of dragons, sun rays and lotus leaves adorns the floor.

Geranium and Gold silk woven by Humphries Weaving, Sudbury has been used for wall panels, magnificent drapery and furniture. A film has been made of the process of reproducing the original fabric.

The quest for His Majesty’s silk from Humphries Weaving on Vimeo.The design for the silk incorporated research from historic written inventories and watercolour references of the original room which gave descriptions of ‘His Majesty’s Geranium and Gold colour silk’ and containing a ‘bird motif’, ‘rosettes’ and ‘ferns’.

From this Humphries Weaving were able to present a black and white photograph from their archive matching the description, which led to them being commissioned to undertake the lengthy task of re-drawing the design.

Further discoveries relating to the colour and the layout came from silk fragments discovered in the archives of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Collection.

Custom dyed and woven in a luxurious pure silk tissue construction the finished fabric weighs over 36KG and the warp alone consists of 4000 miles of silk.

Humphries Weaving is a leading British manufacturer of custom Jacquard fabrics based in Sudbury, Suffolk. They believe in design excellence and integrity above all else and use their extensive knowledge, unique archive, and technical skill to produce beautiful and
interesting fabrics for the world’s most prestigious clients.

Text: Humphries Weaving and image © Jim Holden/Royal Pavilion & Museums

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