Silk in Lyon Festival
Last updated date : 22/02/2024
The Silk in Lyon festival is returning to the Palais de la Bourse, offering a chance to learn about silk production, which forms an important part of Lyon’s industrial past. From 16 to 19 November 2023.
Silk in Lyon
It was only proper that silk – such an important part of Lyon’s heritage – had its own dedicated festival! Since 2018, Silk in Lyon has explored the secrets of this noble and delicate fabric, which is the city’s pride and joy
Request the 2023 programme
Not only does the festival offer a chance to learn about the production process, it presents the textile industry that has been built around this precious fabric. You can discover how silk is now used, not just in fashion, but also in areas such as jewellery-making and interior decoration.
With more than twenty countries represented, the 2023 edition is more international than ever. For XL, President of Silk in Lyon, "The fact that countries like Cambodia and Thailand are coming from the other side of the globe to attend the festival demonstrates once again just how important Lyon’s role is in the world of silk".
In addition to the usual guided tours and demonstrations, the programme includes exhibitions, conferences, DIY workshops and “creation battles”!
The family-friendly festival Silk in Lyon is a gathering to be experienced.
The mysteries of silk
Silk in Lyon unravels the secrets of this precious fabric! The festival presents the entire production process: from the rearing of silkworms, which feed exclusively on mulberry leaves before secreting a fine, strong filament, to weaving and then pattern design, the final stage of creation. It is absolutely fascinating.
Whether it's tid around the neck or waist, wrapped arond the face, or casually draped over the shoulders, the silk scarf is an accessory that exudes class and style, crafted through a series of stages involving expert trades.
The silk road all the way to Lyon
The birth of silk dates back to between 3000 and 2000 BCE in China. It was not until the Middle Ages, when it became a form of currency, that it reached the West and Lyon in particular. The banks of the Saône were particularly favoured as a location by textile merchants. Over the years, Lyon was able to build its reputation as a centre of the silk trade thanks to a combination of factors.
Firstly, Francis I of France appointed the city as the storage site for all silks entering France. Mulberry trees, which are essential for sericulture (the rearing of silkworms) were then planted in the Rhône Valley. Known as the ‘Fabrique lyonnaise’, Lyon’s silk industry flourished over the centuries, forging close ties with the royal court, and benefiting from the expertise of talented master-weavers, who developed new styles and technological advances. Today, silk heritage has been kept alive thanks to traditional workshops and high-profile brands, as well as young creative individuals looking for ways to innovate.
The future of silk
Silk in Lyon is the perfect place to underline a beautiful reality: Lyon’s ever more creative and innovative silk sector is constantly reinventing itself, whether it’s in the area of textiles, cosmetics or even medicine! This forward-looking festival dedicated to silk in Lyon still has many surprises up its sleeve, which we can look forward to discovering year after year!
One thing is for certain, with 600 companies, 17,000 jobs and turnover of 3.3 billion euros*, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is a key hub of the textile industry, particularly technical textiles.
Representing 40 companies and 2000 jobs, the silk sector has a bright future ahead of it!