The humble printer of the world's finest silk
Passeggiata’s silk scarves and accessories are handcrafted in partnership with Adamley Textiles, located just several hours north of London near Macclesfield, England. Adamley has been the leader in the creation and production of luxury printed fabric for more than 50 years.
All of Adamley's processes are performed in-house from start to finish. Utilizing local water sources from the Peak District, Adamley practices ancient methods of dyeing, printing and finishing of bespoke fabrics to create premium luxury printed fabrics and accessories.
Grounded in Tradition
Ever since the 1700's, silk has played an important part of life in Macclesfield. For generations, local communities have relied on weaving, dyeing, printing and finishing silk as a source of employment; adopting and perfecting ancient skills and techniques which earned English silks a worldwide reputation for excellence. It was no accident the English silk industry developed and prospered in Macclesfield.
The most important consideration in deciding where to build a silk printing mill is water. Adamley's water source comes from the River Bollin, which flows from the surrounding hills of the Peak District National Park through Macclesfield on its way to the Irish Sea. Water is vital in processing the silks during the dyeing and washing stages of production. The River Bollin is perfect for this purpose as the water is crystal clear and has a balanced pH, which gives a rich and clear color during dyeing.
The local climate is also an important advantage. Macclesfield is nestled in the shadow of the western edge of the White Peak, a beautifully scenic area of mountainous limestone peaks forming a barrier of cold air across its top. Warm westerly winds blow from the Irish Sea and the Atlantic, bringing rain clouds and humid air. Cold air in the hills above Macclesfield turns the moisture to rain, feeding the rivers and creating a humid, damp atmosphere which keeps the silk flexible and strong during processing.
A mile and a half upstream from Macclesfield, at the bottom of a narrow wooded valley, is the picturesque village of Langley; a small rural community whose economy is based on farming, tourism and of course, silk. On a large bend in the river lies Adamley, a small Victorian mill set in the grounds of Langley Hall. In the field alongside the mill is the mill pond. Once its waters were used to power the waterwheel, but now it is used as a reservoir for water needed during the dyeing and washing process.
Adamley has drawn on the skills and experience of local silk dyers and printers. People who have spent their entire working lives producing fine silks, as their mothers and fathers did before them. Elsewhere, traditional printing techniques have become virtually obsolete, but Adamley has always manufactured using long-established methods to achieve the distinctive look and authenticity associated with a Macclesfield print.
Half a Century of Screen Printing
Adamley has been printing on silk since the 1970's, and to this day stands as one of the very few remaining hand-screen printers in the world. This artisan production requires great precision and expertise. Dyes are mixed by hand, each color made completely bespoke for a single order. Designs are engraved onto the silk printing screens and painted by hand, layer by layer, with exquisite accuracy. Once printed, the colors are then cured through steaming, and the fabric pressed to soften the fibers and achieve the most premium product. Continuing this age-old tradition of screen printing is crucial to retaining Adamley's authenticity and exceptionally high standards. This method of printing allows for the creation of unique products found nowhere else.
Combining Tradition with Technology
In recent years, Adamley has integrated two modern inkjet printers into its production department. Introducing cutting-edge digital technologies allows for the printing of photographic designs, offering greater choice and flexibility to meet modern day demands.
The production team carefully controls the digital printing process in-house, from pre-treatment and printing through to finishing. Each design is perfected by a team of in-house designers to ensure seamless reproduction before proceeding to print.
Home to the World's Most Extensive Historical Print Archive
The Adamley archive is a doorway into England’s rich and diverse textile heritage. Following the decline of the silk industry at the end of the 20th century, Adamley was able to acquire an extensive collection of designs from English and French mills – these include the internationally renowned David Evans archives. This extraordinary textile library now comprises thousands of designs ranging from the mid 1900’s up to the present day and it contains hand drawn designs, block printed patterns and prints on fabric. The exclusive collection of prints is regularly used as a source of inspiration, and any design can be redrawn into a modern interpretation.