Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Some days you have to get out of your old threads (and maybe your comfort zone) before you get dressed up for the big party. The party is Aiken's 175th Birthday celebration on January 9th. I've been invited to attend and demonstrate what a weaver might have been wearing and working on in 1835. It's both an honor and a challenge.
I did a fair amount of research into period fabrics and likely weaving practices of the era and developed a general sense of what might have been going on in Aiken in 1835, but no specific references to weaving in Aiken.
Most hand weaving was probably done by cotton plantation slaves producing relatively coarse cotton fabric to clothe their masters field hands. It's easy to speculate thought that there may have been a few "artisan weavers" in the area, probably slaves working after hours, weaving more refined fabrics or commissioned pieces for cash or barter.
I decided to adopt the speculative artisan scenario and dress the loom at the Art Center with a linen warp that would have been appropriate for an old linsey-woolsey coverlet pattern. So, off with the old cotton warp, some 4 yards of perfectly usable fiber. I've taken care to preserve the cross and chain the remnants so we can use some or all of it in future ACA class projects. I'm still working on my personal wardrobe.