It is wonderful to have the Museum open again for the summer season. Sue Newham, the town Mayor joined our curator, Stephanie and Janet, our chair, to launch the new displays on the top floor.
We look forward to a busy and successful year and hope you will come and see us.
The first of our summer season of spinning and weaving demonstrations took place on the 19th May. Our demonstrators are always happy to show off the ancient skills involved in hand spinning and weaving. We hear that some Roman drop spindles for spinning were found near Newtown near the old Roman road. People have been spinning for even longer than that however - it is a vital way of making strong threads.
Unfortunately we had a problem with the demonstration day on 16 June. Sorry if you were disappointed. Hopefully, all will be resolved in July.
We already have several groups who have had tours this year. Also some of the children of Penygloddfa school have been with us in the last few weeks to learn something of the social history of the area. A group from the Newtown College came to see us just recently. We hope to build on these connections and have more contact with schools in future.
Thanks to the generous grants and funding we have received we have been able to proceed with the following projects:
- Upgrading the top floor displays
- Conserving the scale model of the building
- Carrying out Phase 2 of our Conservation Audit
- Carrying out a Collection and Documentation Audit
- Move on to the next stage of work in conserving the building.
Check out those who have helped fund our work here.
At the Museum we have a great collection of clog making equipment including tools, and workbenches together with finished clogs and patterns.
In March, Geraint Parfitt (on the left)one of the last Welsh clog makers who works from his shop at St Fagans Museum of Welsh life visited Newtown to appraise and advise us on the best way to display our collection. His enthusiasm inspired us and we hope you will enjoy our new clog makers shop on the top loom floor.
Clog dancing originated from the patterns weavers made as they moved their feet on the loom pedals and the word clog derives from the mud accumulating on the footwear of the workers.
Geraint will be at the Textile Museum one day this Summer demonstrating clog making so please visit our website again for more details on when he will be coming.
New exhibition for 2018
One corner of the top floor will now be dedicated to special exhibitions. This year the focus is on Welsh costumes over the years. Do make a point of coming to read all about it, and see the examples on display.
Crimean military quilt
There is a picture hanging in the Royal College of Surgeons of a man sitting in bed sewing a quilt. His quilt was made of triangles, while the one on display at the Museum is tiny squares of densely woven worsted used in the production of military uniforms, predominantly red.
Soldiers were encouraged to take up needlework as a form of therapy for those injured in conflict and recuperating in hospital. An heirloom from the great great grandfather of our curator, this glorious woollen quilt is a reminder of the therapy of craft work. It is on loan.
Marvel at the stitching and regularity of the quilting.
Demonstrations get even more hands on
Thanks to Fibre-East we now have a good supply of niddy-noddies (for winding yarn into a skein), drop spindles and hand carders, and an extra loom so that our visitors can be more hands on when watching the demonstrators. Check out Fibre-East's website if you are interested in attending their events featuring natural fibre and craft.
We are very grateful for Fibre-East's help.