Archive | Textile Museums

Embroidery in World War 2

Lynn Openshaw asks for help with her textile student research. She writes:

I am a textile student researching the use of embroidery in WW2 – especially for occupational therapy purposes in hospitals, convalescence homes and POW camps. If any of your blog readers have any reminiscences or piccies which would help my research, please let me know!

If anyone can help Lynn, please email her.

V & A Online Journal

I’ve just discovered that the V &A (Victoria & Albert Museum in London) has an Online Journal which looks very interesting. There are a couple of patchwork/quilting related articles – Michele Walker: Keepsakes of Identity: Memoriam and Doing Time: Patchwork as a Tool of Social Rehabilitation in British Prisons. Off to read them….

Another Woollen Mill

While we were in North Wales, we went to a second woollen mill, called Brynkir, just north of Porthmadog. 

Brynkir woollen mill 

It had a water wheel to power the machines:

water wheel at Brynkir woollen mill

Here are some of the machines we saw. 

A bobbin winder:

bobbin winder

A machine to wind the wool into skeins for dyeing:

skein winder

And lots of looms:

looms in woollen mill

As usual, it had a factory shop where I bought some yummy tweed fabric…and a poster with pictures of British sheep. Talking of sheep, look at these two, perched on an outcrop of rock up near the summit of Snowdon:

sheep on Snowdon

I will have to consult my poster to see what type these are, but as I’m typing this on holiday in a gite in Normandy, I can’t do it at present….  by the time you read this, I’ll be back.  These holidays are useful for catching up on blog posts but not for publishing them.

Trefriw Woollen Mill

As I type this, we are still on holiday but on my only access to the internet yesterday, Windows Live Writer didn’t want to publish my last post so I doubt if you’ll get to read it until we get back.  But I thought I would write a few posts while what we have seen and visited is still fresh in my mind.

Wales has lots of hills.  Lots of hills with lots of sheep.  So it has – or had in the past – lots of woollen mills to process the wool from those sheep.  We visited one of them near Llanwrst in the first week of our holiday.   

Trefriw had lots of different sections.  I forgot to photograph them all – there was a lady hand spinning on a spinning wheel and several buildings where the different parts of the process such as carding, dyeing and weaving, took place.  I took a photo of this warping mill as I had heard a lot about them and couldn’t quite visualise them.

warping mill at Trefriw woollen mill

And here is a mechanized loom.


We saw this one being operated:


One of my favourite parts at the mill was their Dyer’s Garden. 

dyers' garden

As you can see, it is well labelled and organised.


dyers garden

nasturtiums... dyers garden

madder in dyer's garden

Trefriw woollen mill

Here is a general view from the side of the mill.   It was all powered by hydro electricity using their own generator – we could see the stream of water and the engine which ran it. 

There was also a good sized shop with clothes, woollen bedding, wool, and also woven tweed woollen fabric by the metre.  Definitely well worth a visit!     My haul consisted of a couple of balls of wool spun in the mill, a natural dyeing book and a book on Textile Machines.  

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