Sudbury silk: Loved by royals and celebrities
A festival to celebrate the success of a town's 250-year-old silk industry is taking place for the first time.
Silk woven in Sudbury has been worn by the Queen at her coronation, royal brides, former US First Lady Michelle Obama and singer Adele.
The first silk business moved to the Suffolk town from London in the 1770s and continues at four mills.
Lord Phillips of Sudbury said the area is "the oldest continuous weaving town in the UK".
The festival has been funded by Babergh District Council with £36,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund.
A number of events are taking place at various venues to "showcase the work and heritage of an industry that has shaped the town".
Gainsborough's House museum is offering free entry to an exhibition of four Vivienne Westwood costumes as part of the festival.
The ensembles from the designer, who found fame working with the Sex Pistols in the 1970s, have not used Sudbury silk, but the museum said they represent how silk was used in 17th and 18th Century fashion, an era which inspired Westwood in her post-punk period.
Much of the silk industry moved to Sudbury as it had good access to London, lots of space and good sources of power for new machinery.
More than 110 tonnes of Chinese silk thread is imported to Sudbury each year.
Local students interviewed past and present employees of the Sudbury silk industry for a film which will be shown at the festival.
More than 300 people currently work in the four silk mills of Sudbury: Gainsborough Silk, Humphries Weaving, Stephen Walters and Vanners.
One employee said they were "proud" to work in an industry which has a "very, very important history" and produces a "precious fabric".