Radnorshire Arts and Crafts Foundation ts foundation
RadnorshireArtsandCraftsFoundation Artists and Makers working in Radnorshire
From Cottage Industry to Mill
As part of this years Museum Exhibition we will be exploring exactly what it is
that gives Welsh Textiles their own unique character,
to me it is a combination of many things, the local wool, the way it has been processed,
dyed and woven. However apart from these obvious attributes lay a number of much more fascinating influences. We start this year by examining the history of Textile production in Wales charting its rise from Cottage Industry to Mill, stopping on the way to explore some of the processes.
First we need to look more closely at the people, the materials available to them and their basic need to clothe and protect themselves from the often inclement weather conditions of our hills and valleys, then to look at the pride of the craftsmen and women who added colour, pattern and individuality to their work. Where ever you turn in the Welsh Home you will find Wool, it was knitted into stockings for rich and poor alike, it was woven into tweeds and flannels for clothing and used to stuff mattresses and the quilts for which the Welsh became famous. But where did it all begin? and what valuable lessons have we lost along the way?
Home produced Cloth
At one time there was no other way especially for all but the most wealthy in any society, we grew our own grain, we baked the bread we ate and we spun, wove and stitched our own clothing. Only the lords of the land escaped such mundane an occupation, even then the majority of their clothing until relatively recently in our long history, was woven more often than not from the sheep that grazed their own estates or from Flax grown in near by fields.
The majority of academic Textile research and histories rely heavily upon accounts available through mercantile records, whilst such records make fascinating reading and give a lot of detail about what was made for trade and export they give very little insight into what was produced for our own use. The purpose of this study is to take a closer look at our own textile tradition, to try to gain a little more insight into the lives and ingenuity of generations of undocumented craftsmen and women.
During 2022 we hope to make up for some lost exhibition time, ....
With an ever growing collection of early handloom pieces we will be planning two exhibitions during Summer 2022 one dedicated specifically to Vernacular Welsh Costume and another dedicated to the Handloom Weavers