Articles

Wool spinner Marion Wheatland runs novel pet hair business

Ever wondered what to do with all that hair your pet sheds?

You could give it to Boronia wool spinner Marion Wheatland.

She has been a wool spinner since the early 1990s and even took her craft to Antarctica.

She teaches wool spinning through her business, Fancy Spinning a Yarn.

When one of her clients asked for her poodle’s fur to be turned into a vest, Ms Wheatland knew she was on to something.

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Silkworms Can Spin Electricity-Conducting Silk

Scientists fed graphine to silkworms and now they can spin silk that conducts electricity.

What a time to be alive.

Silk is already well known for its strength, but scientists want to see how far they can take it.

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Guild Rare Breed Project: Ryeland

By Dace Vare

The Ryeland fleece for the Guild’s Rare Breed Spinning Project to celebrate our 70th anniversary was obtained from Marylyn and Des Stevens at Hallylulya, who have been breeding Ryeland sheep since 1955. In fact, when they got married, Marylyn brought her Ryeland sheep with her, which was the start of their flock. The initial reaction of the packers when we started parcelling up the Ryeland fleece was a bit erky perky. Do not despair! Just wash it and you will have a lovely white, bouncy fibre. Read More

AuNZTapestry Challenge 2017 Announced

The AuNZ Tapestry Group has announced its 2017 challenge for Australia and New Zealand weavers. The subject is “The Elements – Earth, Fire, Air, Water.” Choose any one or more of the elements.  The entry must be only one tapestry woven during 2016/17.  It can be done in any style you like e.g. abstract to realistic. The woven piece maximum size is 20cm x 20cm. The weaving is due 28 Feb 2017.

Tapestries will be exhibited in New Zealand and Australia. Contact Marie Clews mclews@tpg.com.au for an entry form, requirements and further information. Entrants to the 2016 challenge will receive a copy of the 2017 entry form with their returned tapestry.

Indigo Dye Discovered in 6,000-Year-Old Textiles From Peru

A recent study of textiles in Peru discovered:

  • Blue indigo dye commonly used in today’s jeans was used by pre-Hispanic communities in Peru around 6,000 years ago.
  • Use of the complex technique involved in creating indigo dye predates its use by ancient Egyptians by about 1,500 years.

The finding, published in Science Advances, is based on the analysis of blue pigment in a 6,000-year-old piece of cotton fabric found at an archaeological site in Huaca Prieta, on the north coast of Peru. The source of the blue pigment was unknown until today’s study, which used highly sensitive equipment known as high-performance liquid chromatography to determine it was a plant-based form of indigo.

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Tea Towel Exchange 2017

We welcome all members of the Guild and all members of our network groups to participate in a tea towel exchange, as part of our 70th year celebrations in June 2017.

All you need to do is:

  • weave four (4) tea towels and keep a weaving record of them;
  • send in three (3) tea towels, each with a copy of the weaving record by 23rd June 2017 (details of “where” below); and,
  • include a $10 entry fee with each set of three towels.

In exchange, you will receive three (3) different tea towels with their weaving records in August 2017. Read More

Romney Rare Breed Spinning and Notes

The Guild’s rare breed spinning project to help celebrate our 70th anniversary next year has been launched with a spin off of Romney fleece. The Romney Spinning Notes are available for those who want to keep a record of your thoughts and your work.

July Guest Speaker: Peter Clark

Peter Clark came to the July general meeting of the Guild to tell us about his father’s role in the establishment of guilds in Sydney in the 1930s. At the end of the article are links to some historic documents.


My Journey into the World of Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing in the 1930s and 40s

Good afternoon Guild members. Thank you Jenny for your kind invitation to address members of the guild today. I have termed the talk as my journey into the world of spinning, weaving and dyeing in the 1930s and 40s.
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Freda Neale Funds Supporting Inala Weaving

In 2015, the Guild, using Freda Neale funds, commissioned Marie Clews to train the weaving room staff at Inala Disability Service to develop projects suitable for their disabled clients.

Dulkara narrow weaving for bag strap.

Dulkara narrow weaving for bag strap.

The weaving room at Inala has 8 to 10 clients at a time.  Marie has been attending the facility on a regular basis, either when the Inala clients are weaving or after hours to instruct the Inala teacher.   The teachers at Inala have no previous weaving experience. Marie said, “Since there is usually only one other aide in the room, the teacher cannot spend much time learning the basics of weaving.” Some of the clients are capable of weaving by themselves, others need one-on-one help, while a few have been weaving for years very competently. Read More

Guild’s Weavers’ Interest Group Begins with a Challenge

The newly formed Weaver’s Interest Group got together and launched their first challenge to Guild Members last week.  The group, welcoming all weavers, meets monthly for discussions, show and tell, inspiration and solutions to your weaving questions. Read More