Open Weave is a community weaving project to show that anyone can be creative. The Museum will provide a mini-loom, threads, instructions and inspiration, the rest is up to you!
Open Weave Poster, designed and woven by S Paige
Museum volunteer Sadie Paige created the wonderful patterns above in this three-dimensional poster for the project. Inspired by textiles from the Museum's collection, Sadie has shown how the BEGINNER'S mini-loom on the right can do lines and shapes. The more complicated zig-zags and diamonds are shown on the central warp representing the NON-BEGINNER'S mini-loom.
The Museum has 100 mini-looms available for local or UK-wide distribution [updated to 150 due to extra demand]. The mini-loom comes with all the bits you need and the warp already mounted. You are encouraged to be creative with the design based on the yarn included in the packet. Items from the Museum Collection are below for your ideas to start flowing.
Shapes & lines by S Paige
OBJ661 Culloden House Arisaid
Natural white woollen blanket with black and red chequered pattern. This arisaid (lady's plaid) came to Gairloch Museum through a descendant of Jean MacCulloch, who was in service at Culloden House. It is said to have been used by Prince Charles Edward ('Bonnie Prince Charlie') as a blanket during his stay there at the time of the Battle of Culloden.
OBJ339 Handwoven Coverlet
Brown and crotal-coloured coverlet woven in traditional birds eye pattern. The warp is handspun cheviot wool dyed with crotal lichen. The weft is handspun wool from blackface sheep. The blanket was woven in Inverasdale and given to Margaret Urquhart as part of her wedding settlement when she married Angus Mackenzie of Naast
OBJ231 Handwoven Blanket
Natural white wool blanket with indigo blue striping in herring-bone twill on the outside edge. The blanket is probably woven from handspun Cheviot wool A number of threading mistakes can be seen in the blue stripe of this handmade blanket.
OBJ232 Handwoven blanket
Natural white blanket with indigo check. This blanket is woven from handspun cheviot wool. It is of particularly fine workmanship and unusally long at 12 feet. As well as the solid blue check, there is a herringbone twill stripe down one selvedge. It was given to the museum by John Mackenzie of South Erradale who was known as 'An Peigi.
Participants in Gairloch Museum’s Open Weave event have been provided with a bundle of weft yarns. Each bundle has four colours that are determined by the colourway theme that’s been allocated to the participant, and there are four colourway themes. Still with me?
The description below includes the weaversbazaar colour in case you want to order more for another project.
Colourway Theme: Gairloch Museum Brand
These colours represent the Museum's branding.
Colourway Theme: Old Museum Colours
These colours represent the branding of the Gairloch Heritage Museum (the "old Museum").
Colourway Theme: Sheep
Inspired by our four-legged friends who provide the means!
Colourway Theme: Culloden House Arisaid
This colour section is inspired by the colours of the arisaid (or shawl) that is part of the Museum's collection.
Open Weavers' Submissions
The mini-looms are being returned and here are the submissions from our weavers so far. Each image is named with the mini-loom number which we included in our email to the weavers. The latest images can also be found on a new Instagram feed @GairlochOpenWeave
The Openweave project has been inspired by Dunfermline Tapestry, part of the Great Place Scheme Project. Hayley Muir and colleagues were very helpful in helping us set up Open Weave.