During January and early February this year I went into Tayport Primary School in Fife to carry out a whole school weaving project. Each class wove something different from primary 1 to primary 7. This included 11 classes with children aged between 5 and 11 years old. Each pupil also had the opportunity to weave on a four shaft table loom contributing to 2 school scarves. We all had so much fun. The children learnt a little about the history of weaving in Fife, about child labour in the Dundee jute mills and how children are still employed in the textile industry around the world today. We had some fascinating conversations! Each class activity included using as many recycled materials as possible, including cardboard looms, old clothes and household fabrics, ribbons, wrapping paper, plastic bags and even cutting up an old leather handbag! It was a real joy to work with such enthusiastic children.
Here are some photographs of some of the things we made.
‘Weaving our school community together’.
First scarf woven on the table loom.
Second scarf woven on the table loom.
Woven shields linking in with the class project on Magic Castles.
Kilted teddies going for a picnic in the woods!
Clothes on a washing line.
Weaving clothes and a rag rug.
Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) and the Heritage Crafts Association have come together to produce a teachers resource pack on six different countryside crafts. My woven clothes project for children between 7-12 years was chosen to represent weaving. (I blogged about this back in June when Simon Chaplan came up to take photographs). This resource is about to be launched on the FACE website, www.face-online.org.uk and will I understand, be accessible on the schools pages. There will be lots of information about each of the crafts and their connections to farming and the countryside, as well as a profile of each maker. Individual activities include step by step instructions, with lots of photographs of each stage. Links are also shown to different areas of the national curriculum.
My activity is called ‘How clothes are made’. I talk about the different fibres from the British countryside and how these have been used historically in making fabrics in the UK, as well as new future resources, such as yarns made from milk! If you are a teacher or someone just interested in weaving, I recommend the FACE website for lots of information and inspiring ideas that link children to the countryside around them.
Photograph by Simon Chaplan
Photographs of weaving activities for 7 -12 year olds.
These are some photographs I thought you might like to see of some weaving projects I did in two primary schools in Shetland. Theses were Bells Brae and Whiteness Primary Schools. The photographs are courtesy of GlobalYell, The Centre for Creative Industries in Shetland. (www.globalyell.org). An inspiring organization that promotes education and training in textiles and music in Shetland.
Weaving a school Shetland tweed, on a 4 shaft table loom.
All ages contributed to weaving the tweed.
Children used recycled materials to make woven wall hangings.
We used plastic bags to make mats for sitting on.
We also had a go on a peg loom and made a rag rug.
Weaving on a peg loom.
More photographs can be found on the GlobalYell website.