Weaving Education In Manitoba In The 1940’s

Janet Anne Hoskins

A thesis presented to the University of Manitoba in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Department of Clothing and Textiles, 1982

Abstract –

The purpose of this study was to discuss as fully as possible the handweaving education of Manaitoba in the 1940’s. Two relatively extensive projects in weaving education were begun and ended in the province during this decade. It was hypothesized that there were identifiable social causes for the increase in the local interest and activity in handweaving, as manifested primarily by these projects, and the decline of this interest. In examining this hypothesis, a wide variety of sources were investigated including numerous archives, contemporary publications, and the personal records of participants in the two projects. A number of these participants were also interviewed. The first project was organized by a French language, Roman Catholic adult education association (La Societe d’Enseignement Postscolaire du Manitoba) and the second was sponsored by a prairie grain company (Searle Grain Company Ltd.). Both of these undertakings had strong ties with similar endeavours begun in Quebec in the 1930’s. The origins, operation and demise of La Societe’s and Searle Grain’s programs were recorded and analyzed with respect to the stated hypothesis. In order to provide the proper perspective for this analysis, the textile traditions in Manitoba (including attempts at commercial textile production, such as the Buffalo Wool Company) were investigated and discussed, as was the Manitoba handweaving of the 1950’s.