This has been so exciting and I love projects that emerge and develop as they grow. We are working in Maybole, South West Scotland. I was asked to do a weaving project to celebrate the town’s 500th anniversary as a Borough.
The organisers were enthusiastic about the idea of a weaving project because this like many, was a weaving town. They wove Ayrshire blankets here and there were also many home weavers if you go further back.
But get this: the weaving riots in Maybole were just about the worst anywhere. Far more so than the oft talked about Paisley riots. The riots were about mechanisation and factories destroying the livelihoods of home weavers. Difficult times.
So the group involved in this project wanted to learn to weave, create a wall hanging and learn a tiny bit of history at the same time. And they have been amazing. Only two had ever woven before. They range in ages from 14 to 80-something and only a couple really knew each other. Weaving has brought them together.
The weaving is all done and now needs to be put together. We did it on ‘rigid heddle’ looms but pretty much any loom will do, including a frame loom like our very economical Create With Fibre midi frame looms of course.
I call it ‘tapestry type’ weaving. It is not true tapestry, you can see the warp in places especially when we add those lovely bits of curly fleece. Far easier and faster too. We created slopes, curves and texture and somehow the eye sees a landscape. And ‘wonky’ because of all those curves and wonky bits of course!
We will add tiny needle felted sheep and boots now. Boots because Maybole was a boot making town too.