Textile students in Year 9 and 10 visited the city of Lyon in France earlier in March, with Mrs Ridley and Mrs Strathdee. Lyon, France's third largest city, has a rich silk weaving history and was an important area for both the production and weaving of fine silks. The term 'Jacquard' used to describe the opulent woven fabrics that are still found in palaces and stately homes around the world today, comes from Lyon as it is where Joseph Marie Charles Jacquard invented the Jacquard Loom, a mechanical loom that revolutionized the textile industry.
Travelling by Eurostar we first experienced the Paris Metro system before making our way down to Lyon on the very comfortable TGV train. Staying for three nights and four days, the trip involved a visit to La Maison des Canuts (Silk Workers Museum) with Jacquard loom demonstration, a guided walking tour of the Traboules of the Croix-Rousse (Silk Workers Passages) and a trip to a Screen Printing Workshop with screen printing and skill painting demonstration. There was also time for some shopping and, as Lyon is also the gastronomic capital of France, we enjoyed several lovely meals out including a three course meal at a traditional Lyonnaise Bouchon on the Saturday night.
The girls were an absolute pleasure to take away and enjoyed soaking up the culture and atmosphere of this very special and often unsung European city as well as immersing themselves in all thing textiles. Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage site and with the weather was mostly on our side, we were able to take in many of its historic and architectural landmarks. We also enjoyed evening strolls along the city's two rivers (the Rhone and the Soane), soaking up the atmosphere in the city also know as the 'Capital of Lights'.