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Hand Spinning and Weaving by The Cape Guild of Weavers


26 April 2008

loom weaving



There is something deeply philosophical about the craft of spinning and weaving. For, from simple yarns to intricately woven cloth, all the products of these crafts depend strongly on the cooperation of the many contributing fibres and threads that each do their individual little parts, to make a success of the whole.



Even wondering about the story of the origins of these crafts, one has to be intrigued at how worldwide, in nearly all cultures, the same processes evolved for the same purposes. It was as if all these spinning and weaving hands were each contributing threads towards some giant global tapestry that depicted the evolution of these sustaining crafts that contributed so much to man's ability to survive, and develop communal behaviours. Indeed, the archaeological and folklore records are rich, varied and widespread.


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At the market of 26 April 2008, members of the Cape Guild of Weavers were at the Country Craft Market to show and tell more about this theraputic pastime that produces such a variety of results and benefits.




Exactly how the discovery was made that allowed man to intertwine short fibres to produce endless yarns, and then to figure out how to interlace these to produce pieces of woven cloth, nobody can really tell. What is known is that it happened in many places independent of each other.




at her stall


Necessity certainly was a global mother of invention. For these yarns, ropes, cloths and mats, were soon providing the creature comforts that allowed man to improve the control he had on the environment in which he lived. From twines to nets, blankets to complete shelters, home life became much more endurable, and attractive.






giraffe cushion



The successes of these crafts and the utility of their products led to a literal industrial revolution that saw the emergence of all manner of tools and machines. These sped up the spinning and weaving processes in response to the demand. 



Then as machines freed man from the repetitive tasks of spinning and weaving, producing more uniform and repeatable results, the craftsman with their traditional hand skills were able to be more experimental, working on the fringes of the craft, producing more individual handwork with fibres, yarns and designs that could not be integrated economically into industrial manufacturing processes.




giraffe cushion

Today, that ancient global tapestry of the emerging spinners and weavers lives on worldwide in the form of Guilds that safeguard and nurture these traditional crafts and the associated skills. The Cape Guild of Weavers is part of this family of Guilds, and will be giving a demonstration at the next Country Craft Market on 26 April.


giraffe cushion



Apart from being a repository of many spinning and weaving skills, the Cape Guild of Weavers is also a forum for contact with other people interested in these creative and interesting crafts. The Guild even provides many support services from stocks of yarns, to a library filled with informative books.



With the Cape winter looming, the Guild suggested that this was the right time to get involved, and discover the joy of hand spinning and weaving. And while learning the associated skills, you will also discover the many additional benefits that come in the form of relaxation, stress relief, social interaction and obviously, the satisfaction of producing beautiful and useful handmade items.



Therefore the Cape Guild of Weavers invited anyone interested in spinning and weaving, to attend their demonstration at the Country Craft Market on 26 April. They also provided full information on their activities and answered all queries that visitors had. 

Perhaps you will may still discover that one of the satisfying crafts of weaving, spinning, knitting, felting or dyeing, is just what you are looking for to add new colour to your tapestry of life.

For further information on the Guild, call Penny White (021 7151945), Linda Fedder (021 7901449) or Maureen Schwind (021 7126924).


giraffe cushion



Last Updated 04 November 2017 16:09