Omaha Weavers and Spinners Guild Show Tomorrow
November 17th, 2017
Photo courtesy of Margaret Holley
Omaha, NE—This Saturday, the Omaha Weavers and Spinners Guild will host their annual Fiber Arts Show. The Guild is Omaha’s place for exchanging ideas to improve techniques in hand-weaving and hand-spinning, as well as other fiber arts, like knitting, crocheting and dyeing. The Guild has served Omaha for over 60 years, but the art of weaving is prehistoric, explained Chairman of the Guild Show, Margaret Holley.
“Well weaving goes back to before the mammoth and the Stone Age,” Holley said. “The first things woven were probably grasses and things like that and then they needed baskets and so that was the good use of the clothing for that. Later on when they had the sheep in Southeast Asia, the long hair of the sheep made beautiful soft blankets and all sorts of things they had to do. Normally even the Navajo weavers today weave on not wooden looms like we use, but they hang them from trees and have strings upright going up and down and then they go back and forth in and out through all the strings to make their blankets and things, so that was probably the original form of weaving used. But currently everything we wear, every piece of clothing you have is either woven or knit or is fleece, which is another method for making things.”
The Fiber Arts Show runs every year just before Thanksgiving, and visitors can expect to see any number of items crafted by Guild members, including dish towels, table cloths and runners, jackets, hats, rugs and handwoven, hand-spun yarn.
Of course you can find woven goods at retail stores, but putting hands to loom offers weavers and patrons more creative ways to use textiles.
“For me the use of color is the exciting thing—to be able to pick exactly the colors you want for any project, if it’s a table runner for your home and it’s got to match you know your décor exactly. So you can pick that, you can pick incredible patterns if you wish or you can pick textures with hairy yarn and yarn that’s got different looks to it. That makes it more interesting for the texture of the woven piece, and the patterns also. It’s your choice of doing it—there’s massive books and our guild has a massive library full of books with patterns for doing it. And so you learn to do that by trial and error. Make mistakes and start over and say ‘OK, here I want to try this.’”
The Omaha Weavers and Spinners Guild’s Fiber Arts Show and Sale is this Saturday, November 18th from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the Westside Community Center. Weaving and spinning demonstrations are from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. For more information about the show or guild, visit OWSGuild.org.
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