In 2007 Adrienne Hood published her book, Fashioning Fabric: The Arts of Spinning and Weaving In Early Canada. Ninety-nine pages long, it gives a general overview of weaving from the the arrival of Europeans through the initial establishment of factories. It includes a list of functioning, period-farms across Canada today in the back. A nice bedtime read with lots of photos, it’s a nice addition to my library, and at $.97 plush shipping I can’t complain!
Fashioning Fabric: The Arts of Spinning and Weaving in Early Canada
Beautiful full-colour photographs reveal the story of spinning and weaving in Canada.
Every spring in early Canada, fluffy sheep dotted the countryside, and in summer, blue flax flowers waved in the wind. By the fall harvest, they provided raw materials for the production of wool and linen, the focus of Fashioning Fabric: The Arts of Spinning and Weaving in Early Canada.
This engaging social history explores the methods, tools, and patterns used by early immigrants to create their homemade textiles. The Acadians, Quebecois, Scots, English, American Loyalists, and German Mennonites all brought with them traditions that were reflected in their beautiful handiwork. The process was laborious — it took a full day to spin a pound of wool — but also social and creative. As settlements prospered, spinningwheel makers opened shops and commercial weavers set up operations — until industrial mills moved the whole process out of the home.
Lavishly illustrated with colour photographs, this book explains all the stages in making fabric and offers striking examples of clothing, quilts, and coverlets. The photography highlights the work of historical interpreters at prominent sites, including Black Creek Pioneer Village, Upper Canada Village, Kings Landing, Lang Pioneer Village, Highland Village Museum of Nova Scotia, and Joseph Schneider Haus. Fashioning Fabric will appeal to any reader interested in the “fabric” of everyday nineteenth-century life.
It was a simple suggestion, but sitting over brunch on Saturday my friend simply said how important it was that people be able to see a sample of what you will weave. And it’s true. For many people it is extremely difficult for them to envision what a verbal description of an item will actually look like when it is finished. I was a good reminder that I should not take what I do for granted and impose it on others.
A good copy of this book was purchased from a book seller in Edmonton for $25 CDN and arrived today complete with blueprints and several other documents from its last owner. I will look through them over the next couple of days and hope to find the plans for building a flying-shuttle on the new Nilart loom. I really look forward to doing so.
I spent last week in retreat at a guesthouse in Norway on the Trondheim Fjord – www.tautra.org. There were a great many weavings there, some on the floor, some runners…
…and some other textiles…
Today I ordered the first four books…a total of $90, including shipping. The last was given to me.