Fleece to Fulling: Spinning, Dyeing            MSW Staff &

& Weaving a Wool Blanket                 Melissa Weaver Dunning

October 4 - 29, 2021                                    This class is full.


Back in the 1970's and 80’s the main class option at MSW was a 6 week intensive where the students arrived and were handed a raw sheeps fleece and proceeded to go through all the steps of sorting, washing, picking, carding, spinning and eventually to weaving a fully handspun wool blanket. It was a most unforgettable experience and helped to shape an inspire many a student.  We are pleased to once again offer this unique opportunity to come and start at the beginning and go through all the processes that were once a mainstay in the act of making clothing and household textiles. There is no previous spinning, dyeing or weaving experience needed for this class and we will be limiting the class to 4 students at a time and hopefully offer this twice a year. The class will be taught by Norman’s former students who took this class in the 70’s & 80’s and those of the next generation who have learned from these alumni.  Hopefully Norman will also be on hand to give his advice and tell stories while the wheels spin away!


Weaving Between the Lines                 w/Juniper Wexler

July 8 - 11, 2021

$600  plus materials

Flowers, waves, stars, gardens: words like these colorfully describe the shapes possible with 4-shaft overshot. This class aims to break these forms out of their strict grid, instead activating overshot's potential as a malleable design system. We will develop a no-fear understanding of overshot drafts, so that we can fluidly transform motifs with modifications in threading and treadling. Each student will design and weave an original sample, and by incorporating inlay and clasped weft we will further expand our creative expression "between the lines" of a plain weave grid. (We will also briefly cover computer drafting for those interested.) If you know how to weave twill, this class is for you.

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Making a Vest or Waistcoat               w/Eliza West

July 17 & 18, 2021

$275  plus materials

This class is aimed at transforming hand-woven textiles into wearable garments. In it, students will make an 18th century waistcoat or a modern vest and can choose to work with either fabric they have woven themselves, hand-woven material provided by MSV, or store-bought fabric.  Over the weekend the class will adapt a basic vest or waistcoat pattern to each student’s body (inclusive of all body types), carry out a fitting, and begin assembling the garment while coving a wide range of construction techniques. Students will leave with a basic pattern for their waistcoat or vest, as well as all of the information needed to complete their garment on their own.  The class is designed for a mixture of hand and machine sewing, but students who wish to sew their garments entirely by hand are welcome to do so; historical construction techniques will be taught. Familiarity with both basic hand and machine sewing is recommended.

Weaving a Jewish Prayer Shawl                Nelly Detra

July 19 - 23, 2021

September 20 -24, 2021

$750  plus materials

The Jewish prayer shawl, or tallit, is the traditional garment worn by Jews during religious observance. The only specifications given in the Torah for this garment is that it should have four corners to hold the “tzitzit” or fringes. This gives the Jewish weaver a broad range of artistic options when designing a tallit. In this class each student will design and weave their own tallit, atarah and corners. We will wind up the class by tying the tzitzit together, and discuss how we can express our own vision of Jewish observance through the mitzvah of crafting and wearing tzitzit. 

 Natural Dyes Found in Trees & Shrubs      w/Joann Darling

July 24 & 25, 2021

In this two day workshop students will explore a myriad of natural color from woody plants. The abundance of woody plant material can lend itself to a more sustainable approach for acquiring large quantities of natural dyes.
Our journey will begin with a plant walk to identify and gather choice species then to the best techniques to extract the dyes. We will cover fiber preparation and use of mordants to obtain multiple tints and shades from a single extraction. Time permitting we hope to cover and process a dozen or more dye baths. Materials and sample books provided. 

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Flax to Linen                              w/Andrea Myklebust

July 28 - 30, 2021

$375 plus materials
In this three day workshop, we will explore all aspects of traditional flax production, from seed selection and cultivation, to harvesting, dew-retting and water-retting, and flax dressing using hand tools. Students will have opportunities to do hands-on processing work with raw and retted flax straw, using a flax brake, scutching board and hackles to dress flax into tow and line ready for spinning into linen. We will discuss sourcing seed and tools, and will take a look at work being undertaken today to revive textile flax production in North America. Students will have plenty of samples to take home at the end of the workshop, and a packet of textile flax seed to plant in their own gardens next spring.


Spinning Flax to Linen      w/Andrea Myklebust    

July 31 - August 1, 2021

$250 plus materials
In this weekend workshop, we will learn to spin flax in various forms; tow, commercially-processed sliver and tow roving, and hand-processed line. Working with both hand spindles and spinning wheels, we will learn how to dress a distaff and use it in spinning line flax. Students will have an opportunity to make a distaff of their own to take home, along with samples of all the fibers used in the class, and a packet of textile flax seed to plant in their own gardens next spring. This workshop is aimed at students who already have a working knowledge of spinning. Students are welcome to bring their own wheel to the workshop, and we will have access to Marshfield's flax wheels as well as wheels brought by the instructor.    


Vermont Dye Summer Session                   w/Graham Keegan

August 2 - 20, 2021


Aug 2 - 3,                         Intro to Mordant Assisted Dyeing

Aug 4 - 6                               Layering Colors & Itajime

Aug 9 - 10                         Fresh Leaf Indigo Extraction                        Aug 11-13               Rice Paste Resist  Printing & Dyeing 

Aug 16-17                                   Iron on Tannin   

Aug 18 - 20         Indigo, Madder, Goldenrod & Tannin Printing             

Graham will be taking the registrations directly for all of his classes so contact him at:  www.grahamkeegan.com


Weaving Hemp Checks                           w/Marina Contro

August 16 - 20, 2021                              This class is full.

$750  plus materials

Optional Hemp Dyeing Day          August 15, 2021    $125

In this class, open to all levels, students will learn the foundations of weaving with hemp yarn to create a colorful, custom plaid fabric. In addition to being led through winding a warp, dressing a barn frame loom, and weaving, students will learn detailed project planning and hemp fabric finishing. Beginners and experienced weavers alike will be encouraged and supported to explore this (not so) new material, color, and structure. Each student’s weaving level will be catered to by yarn and project size. There will be an optional one-day yarn dyeing workshop on Sunday before class begins in which students can dye custom colors for their warps and wefts. Students will learn tricks to take yarn from the cone to the dye pot and how to prep dyed yarn for the loom. Students who choose not to attend the dye day will have a limited color selection and slightly higher materials fee.


Loom Mechanics                              w/ Justin Squizzero

August 21, 2021


Mastery of tools is essential to any craftsman or artist, and weaving is no exception. In this workshop students will gain in-depth knowledge of the factors at play in four-post looms, how those attributes affect the woven goods, and how to select and manipulate the loom to produce the desired results. We will discuss shedding mechanisms and make hands on comparisons weaving the same warp counterbalanced and countermarched. Shuttles, temples, warp lines, harness, ratchets and everything else we use to weave will be addressed, so bring your questions!


Processing Bast Fibers                            w/Joann Darling

August 21 & 22, 2021


Flax, Hemp and Nettles have cellulose fibers (bast) that run the length of the stem.  Bast fibers can be twisted, spun and processed into cloth and has been done so for centuries.  This workshop will be a "hands on" opportunity for participants to explore and work with these plants.  Learn all the processes needed for creating threads and what it takes to dye them naturally.


Floral Warp Painting in the style of Pompadour Silk              w/ Dosia Sanford                              August 23 - 27, 2021       

$750  plus materials                   This class is full.

In this 5 day session students will warp, paint, and weave silk yardage in the style of French Chiné à la branche or Chiné à la chaîne. Striped warps will be wound, then painted under tension on frames with careful attention to produce delicate floral and flame motifs among the stripes. Time will be spent exploring how to design and achieve control in the final outcome. Yardage will be woven plain weave, but this is still an intermediate class because of the set up time. Previous experience with barn frame looms and multiple thread warping are a big plus. Day one will be spent designing, warping, and treating the fabric for the paint. Day two the patterns will be applied to the warps and cured. Day three-five are for beaming on and weaving the cloth. Space is limited to 4 students so sign up early!

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Mushroom Dyeing                                w/Joann Darling

September 11 & 12, 2021


A two day workshop exploring the wide world of fungi in central Vermont suitable for putting color onto fiber.  Joann has been experimenting with mushroom dyeing for the past five years and has accumulated a wide variety of colors and receipts.  Mordanting of the yarn will also be covered.


Weaving Singles Linen                           w/ Justin Squizzero

October 11 -15, 2021

$750  plus materials                                This class is full.                     

Want to try linen, but intimidated by its challenges? Here’s your opportunity to master the preparation steps and weaving techniques involved in weaving a piece of fine linen cloth. Students may work with plied or singles thread depending on experience and comfort level. Those working with singles may size their thread prior to warping. Students will learn strategies for maintaining even tension while warping and beaming; the pros and cons of different loom mechanics; how to manage the fiber throughout weaving; and finishing methods to highlight linen’s natural beauty. Fear linen no more and get a handle on a fiber that’s at once delicate and tough as nails. 

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Spinning & Weaving Brown Cotton in the Acadian Tradition

October 18 - 20, 2021                               w/Austin Clark

$400 plus materials   


In this three-day workshop, students will learn about the Acadian cotton textile tradition in Louisiana. We will work with different colors of natural cotton and learn to card and spin, on both the great wheel and low wheel, as it has been done in Louisiana for 250 years. Students will also weave a sampler covering the variety of Acadian textiles from cotonnade fabrics and household linens to the ubiquitous Acadian brown cotton blanket. 

Austin Clark is a spinner, knitter, and weaver of traditional textiles using techniques of the 18th and 19th centuries with a focus on the Acadian textile tradition of Louisiana. He apprenticed with Elaine Bourque, a Louisiana Tradition Bearer, and has been awarded grants by Louisiana Folklife to reproduce Acadian textiles using traditional techniques. Austin has also received extensive mentoring from renowned spinner and weaver, Norman Kennedy. His work has been included in the Hilliard Art Museum at the University of Louisiana exhibit “Acadian Brown Cotton: The Fabric of Acadiana”. Austin is also the Director of Music at Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville, Louisiana.