For at least 27,000 years, peoples from across the globe have discovered ways of weaving. Within different regions unique traditions developed, created by the confluence of technology, material, and culture. At The Marshfield School of Weaving, we preserve and teach the British-American expression of traditional textile making. While this system has much in common with other European and Eastern traditions, we have inherited the form practiced in Scotland and learned by Norman Kennedy in the first half of the 20th century. This tradition reaches back to the introduction of the horizontal loom to Britain during the Middle Ages and is the same one that was brought to early America through British colonization. This time honored way of making cloth was widespread in our region before it all but disappeared under the powerloom. Today, the Marshfield community is the heart of this vibrant tradition in the United States.
Why are all first-time students—even experienced weavers—encouraged to take Foundations? In short, because the historic equipment and methods we use are not taught anywhere else. Weavers traditionally were much more responsible for the function of their tools than is possible with modern mass produced looms. They utilized particular skills that maximize efficiency and ergonomics. This class is centered around engaging with our antique looms and the techniques they’re designed for; every intermediate and advanced class we offer is quite literally built on this foundation. For more details on this class - click here.
Learn about Natural Dyeing, Spinning, Printing and other textile techniques during our regularly scheduled workshops or during your personalized course of study. Click here for guest instructor classes.