Weaving on Skye

There is a lot of weaving going on on Skye even though I have primarily been focused on the sheep and knitting so far.

They produce a little booklet here that helps you find your way to all of the many artisan shops on the island. It is set up geographically so you can thoroughly explore each area. The area in which I was based, the north of the island, is rich in opportunities to meet these artisans and explore what they do. I managed, through my own driving (!) and a private tour to cover much of this area.

On my tour there was a stop at the Museum of Island Life, showcasing how things were done in the past including weaving.

A nice display about natural dyeing, including several iron pots I wish I could take home with me! The little piece of coverlet shown was dyed with madder, indigo and onion skins.

A weaving studio near there, Ellishader, would be the opposite in time frame showcasing many very contemporary designs. Here, Maggie Williams creates beautiful items, weaving with lambswool.

Finally, there is Skye Weavers.

Challenging to get to along a long stretch of single track road but well worth the trip.

Two small sheds house their loom and warping apparatus and another their sales and showroom.

The loom is bicycle powered and is a rapier loom. I have never seen one of these. Each pick of the weft is laid separately and cut so there is a selvedge going up the side of the weaving. Because they don’t use shuttles, which need to have bobbins wound, they are faster. You can see the mirror to the left of the photo which shows the reflection of the cone being used.

The day I was there they were just weaving with a single color but those paper strips are put on when working with more colors to feed through the correct color at the right time. Also, here is the warping creel and warping wheel used to create the sectional warp. These are housed in the second building and the warp is carried from here into the weaving building. Skye Weavers have posted a lot of information about how they do their weaving on their website and it is very informative. Please check it out. www.skyeweavers.co.uk

You can purchase many lovely products in their shop and also see a picture of the breed of sheep whose wool is used in their products. White Cheviot!

And here, back at the croft at Island at the Edge, there is a darling little white Cheviot who is playing hide and seek with me!

Published in: on May 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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