I didn’t find much of textile interest while on holiday (except in terms of inspiration like the manhole covers). There was a silk factory which had a museum attached but I was told by the tourist office in Tours that it was closed all July and August.
However, I did find a few things, unexpectedly. We went to see a strange motley collection of … basically anything with moving parts, the Musee Maurice Dufresne. I think that M Dufresne couldn’t bear to leave any machines he found rusting in fields or anywhere; he had to rescue them and add them to his collection. Something had been found at the bottom of a lake. It was a huge combine harvester or something like that. Goodness knows how it got to the bottom of the lake or how he knew it was there and managed to get it out again. It was that sort of a collection.
Anyway, in amongst all this stuff were a few looms.
I don’t know much about looms or what type they are but it was lovely to see all that pile of yarn in the midst of machinery! If anyone can enlighten me, I will add the information.
I think this one made braid, or ribbon.
Is this a machine for winding shuttles? or warping or something? (can’t you tell I don’t know ANYTHING about weaving?! Still, I do find these kinds of things interesting and I would love to learn, so please enlighten me!)
All these looms were a drop in the ocean in the huge barn-like buildings in which they were stored. I found some sewing machines high up on a shelf later on and I felt so sorry that they were stuck up there so unappreciated.Â I wanted to take them all home with me!
In amongst all these were cars, farm machinery, a London bus(!) and even a guillotine which had travelled around during the French Revolution – it was mounted on a cart. Bikes, printing machines, you name it, it was there. Amazing.
My Textile Museums map has taken off – thank you to everyone who has sent me more details and to Sharon at In A Minute Ago for giving me a mention on her blog.
There may be a few changes to it in the future because, while perusing the help pages at Google Maps yesterday, I discovered that you can only put 100 saved locations in there – after that they start deleting the first ones! So I may split it into regions but if I do that I will make sure the links are on my sidebar and, if possible, in the Googlemaps page as well.
Odile kindly sent me a link to a Google Map of Textile Museums in France which has been compiled by France Patchwork, who also have a comprehensive list on their website. I won’t add these to mine due to the above constraints but will put the link to their map on my sidebar.
I’m happy to say that I have made a small start on the Textile Museums map which I have meant to compile ever since I started this blog. It is on Google Maps here. Let me know if you have any problems viewing it.
I have a whole lot more links to museums saved in my Favourites so I will gradually add them over the next few days (hopefully) or weeks (probably)…. If you know of any more, please leave a comment or email me, preferably with a website if you know it and I’ll put it in. I’ve put a link on the sidebar too.
I’ve been wondering if there is any way to set this so that it is editable by anyone, or more than just me… If anyone has any idea about this, do let me know! I had an idea about putting it on Wikipedia but one look at the map how-to instructions put me off! It looks far too technical for me…
Give me a week or so to enter all my links on the map, and then please see if your local textile museum, or any you know about, is on there and let me know if it isn’t.
You can view it by zooming in on the area you’re interested in, or browsing the links on the left.
Update: in the process of compiling this map, I have discovered a lot of online ‘museums’ and textile resources, so I have put them onto a permanent page on this blog – you can see a link to it on the sidebar under ‘Pages’.
I finished my cashmere socks!
While knitting, I listened to an awful lot of podcasts. One of my favourites is Cast On by Brenda Dayne. She is a Canadian living in Wales and she has a great couple of episodes which cover her visit to the National Wool Museum in Wales. She did them several months ago now, but they are well worth listening to if you are interested at all in how wool is prepared and woven and the woollen industry in Wales.
If you are tempted, they are in Episode 37 and Episode 38.
I found them fun to listen to because one of the things I enjoy doing on holidays is visiting textile museums and I’ve been round woollen museums in France and read commentaries on them in French so it was nice to hear it in English for a change! Ever since I set up the blog I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a clickable map with links to textile museums and I even have a category in my favourites folder where I add them whenever I find them. One day maybe it will come to fruition… I like the idea of being able to go to it whenever I’m going on holiday and just to look at the map and see if there is one nearby. Please, if anyone has seen anything like this on the web, tell me before I do start one and spend hours preparing it!!!
Well, I’m back from my travels (actually got back on Thursday but it’s taken this long to get through the pile of washing and read about 1000 emails…). On the way to our destination, we came across a car boot sale. We spent about an hour and a half there examining all the treasures. And look what I got there! It only cost me Â£14. I looked it up on the internet and apparently it was made in Germany, not sure when. It’s got a transverse shuttle, whatever that is – it is a long, thin one anyway. The start to my very own sewing machine museum!!
This is a braiding machine at the Musee de Draperie in Vienne, south of Lyon in France.