Ticketing has now opened for talks and professional workshops in Cromford. See Events page. Don't delay - book your place today! And tell your friends and fellow-weavers about Fabric of the North.
A great attraction at Fabric of the North is the free, drop-in, do-it-yourself Wacky Wall, which offers visitors of all ages an enjoyable and light-hearted experience of tapestry weaving. Visiting families and children will be encouraged to help build the ‘wall’ by weaving tapestry 'bricks'.
A large loom allows for a large tapestry, and two weavers will be able to work side by side. Colourful yarns, glittery beads and other attractive embellishments will be supplied, as well as swing tag labels so each weaver can immortalise their name in the work. Volunteer stewards will be on hand to offer advice and encouragement, and supply more information and resources for anybody who decides they would like to pursue tapestry weaving in future.
The beautiful yarns in the Wacky Wall have been generously supplied by Airedale Yarns of Shipley, West Yorkshire.
Wacky Wall: open daily at Cromford Mills, 7 May to 23 May.
We've added two new drop-in workshops to Fabric of the North, so visitors can have a go at fabric-making. On 16 May, Manchester fashion-house owner Ibukun Baldwin demonstrates colourful braiding techniques, and on 17 May the artist Tan Draig invites visitors to help create mini-tapestries. Make a date in your diary! Bring your children or grand-children!
Jane Walkley, who’ll lead a Fabric of the North workshop in Cromford, had works on display recently in a joint exhibition at Leeds Art University.
A visitor from the Weaving Rooms in Darlington, Jane Riley, wrote:
"Jane’s Jesmonite and tapestry 3D pieces have a really powerful presence. The colours were beautiful with metallic flecks, and some had slivers of copper sheet. She talked of the rhythm of the weavers, and the memories of the workers' chant as they used their hands."
Tickets for Jane Walkley’s workshop on 3D mixed-media weaving will go on sale on early 2020. Watch this space.
About 30 members of BTG's Northern Region, which is organising Fabric of the North, held a lively meeting recently in Halifax, which included an entertaining and informative private tour of Calderdale Industrial Museum.
Visitors came from as far afield as Teesside, Cumbria and Cheshire. Several of the lone weavers commented on the vibrancy of the local group (the Halifax Square Route Weavers), who joined BTG on a Group membership, and are submitting a collaborative entry to Fabric of the North.
Perhaps we should have more Group members? What a great way to bring together people who might otherwise go for months without talking with a fellow weaver. You can find more details of Group membership at thebritishtapestrygroup.co.uk/shop/btg-membership. And you can make contact with the Halifax crew at facebook.com/groups/319188405478051/
Photo of Halifax Square Route Weavers by Sally Reckert
In November our Fabric of the North venue faced an unprecedented challenge, when the River Derwent reached its highest level ever recorded. The millrace which passes through Cromford Mills was a swirling torrent, within inches of overflowing. Sandbags were placed at all of the building's entrances, but fortunately the rain subsided in time for the risk of flooding to be averted.
St. Mary’s church, immediately below the Mills, had an even closer shave (see photo). The river burst its banks, but again the waters stopped just short of the church. Nearby Matlock was not so lucky.
Thanks to Colin Moss and David Witham for the report and photo.
A brand new video will be shown on a loop at Fabric of the North.
What is Tapestry? is for visitors who have little or no idea of what a woven tapestry is, and who may confuse it with embroidery or needlepoint, such as the Bayeux and Ehrman 'tapestries'. Our video, by Graeme Bowman, will give a lightning overview of the basics of warp and weft - such a simple activity in principle (if not always in practice!) that we hope visitors will want to give it a go after watching, on our do-it-yourself 'Wacky Wall'.
Filming started a few days ago at Darlington Weaving Rooms. More news as it comes in - and maybe we'll show a bit of the video on this site.