Learning about weaving traditions in Scotland

On our trip to Scotland recently, my husband and I visited Kilbarchan Weaver’s Cottage. The area used to house over 800 individual weavers. This is one preserved cottage because there was someone living there until the 1960s.

Here is the beautiful lintel over the door.

“Builded Anno 1723”

Famous people work here!

I recognized the name of the place and only connected later that I had seen Christine Macleod online before. I thought I had seen her videos on YouTube but it was actually Video Jug, where the National Trust of Scotland has its own channel. She shows you everything from spinning with a drop spindle, to How to use a loom for weaving.

Christine is curator and resident weaver there. She designed a registered tartan which was on display there as well.

In Kilbarchan, way way back, they used to spin the wool (very fine, and by hand!) and weave complex paisley patterns. As the Christin explained, today we can be as creative as we want with spinning and weaving. Then, you had to work to a specific standard or you were out.

We got to watch Christine working for a while, and she explained how the machine worked a little. It was fun to try weaving. Here I am feeling very uncoordinated at the loom!

How to use a spinning wheel – video with Christine Macleod of National Trust Scotland

I think being towards the end of the day there wasn’t much time for a demo. I asked for a demo of the spinning wheel. But Christine said I should just try treadling first. I was showing promise! But I think she communicated the demo was over when she left the room. Alas, it was fun to feel how the wheel turned.

How to make a rag rug

Pretty much saw these in every museum or house museum we visit in Scotland. They look like fun to make.