North Cheshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers.
Ever since the beginning of civilisation 10,000 years ago, mankind has known how to spin and weave, to make clothes for himself and to keep warm. Gradually our skills improved, and in medieval times there were many specialist craft guild associated with with the textile trade. There were Guilds of Carders, Spinners, Dyers, Weavers and Fullers to name but a few. These united workmen of the same craft comprised of masters, journeymen and apprentics.
Later during the industrial revolution the production of textiles changed from a cottage industry to a factory based system for which England became known. Today we have a wide range of fibres to work with, and we are enjoying renewed interest in textiles and the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers has been formed to promote this revival.
The North Cheshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers started on the 10th November 1984, when a group of 19 people met near Warrington at an inaugural meeting. Since then the membership has grown to around 30.
The Guild is always pleased to to welcome new members and especially beginners. Expertise in craftmanship is encouraged - but it is not a requirement for membership.
We are affilliated to the National Association of Guilds of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, which links over 100 Guilds and organises national events e.g. a summer school, exhibition, conference, certificated course. The Association also produces a quarterly Journal. There is also a "Web based" Guild which is available for people anywhere in the world who are unable to get to any of the local Guilds.
Our Guild meetings are interesting and varied and we try to produce a programme that offers something of appeal to all our members. We usually have a speaker or demonstrator on a particular aspect of textiles. Recent topics have included "From Source to Pictorial Felt", "Indigo, the Colour of Kings and the King of Colours" and "Turkish Flat Weaving".
Over lunch we catch up on news of exhibitions and we have a library from which members may borrow books and videos, WE also share ideas on our projects and there is always someone to help with problems.
We often arrange an outing to a place of textile interest. We also link with other neighbouring Guilds for exhibitions etc.
OUR TEXTILE CRAFT.
Spinners can start on a spindle and then graduate to a spinning wheel. They spin fancy yarns and use fibres such as wool, mohair, cotton, flax, silk and also man made fibres.
Weavers use simple looms for braids, larger ones for woven materials, and frames for tapestries and rugs. Dyers bring colour into their work using natural or synthetic dyes. Using natural dyes it is possible to produce lovely colours unattainable in other ways.
Besides spinning, weaving and dying, there are many other textile interests which members are involved with. Foe example, the history of textiles, breeding of animals for their wool or hair, knitting, crocheting, feltmaking, lacemaking and canvas work.
Meetings are held at Croft Memorial Hall, Croft, near Culcheth, Warrington on the fourth Saturday each month. The hall is open from 10 am to allow for a prompt start for lectures at 10.30 am. Lunch is from 12.30 to 1.30 and the afternoon session ends at around 4pm.