‘Weaving the Wonderful Cotswolds’

Jacob sheep at The Cotswold Farm Park

Jacob sheep at The Cotswold Farm Park

A full-on weekend leading and teaching on a special ‘Creative Weekend’ course to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Cotswolds AONB, which they titled: Weaving the Wonderful Cotswolds.

Day 1 was at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, near Bourton-on-the-Water. I took the students on a farm walk to meet the rare breed sheep and be inspired by the colours and textures of their surrounds. They watched a shearing demo, then learnt the techniques of carding and spinning, turning white and coloured washed fleece into fabulous yarn with the Northleach Spinners and Weavers.
We then dyed wool yarn (which had been mordanted with Alum), using hand-spun from the Farm’s Cotswold sheep and commercially spun British Wool from Laxtons in Yorkshire. Using plant matter picked at the start of the day, we made dyes from Hawthorn, Cow Parsley and Nettle and produced a range of yellows which were over-dyed with colour from dried natural dyestuffs in blues, purples, reds, pinks and browns.

Cotswold Handspun Wool dyed with nettles

Cotswold Handspun Wool dyed with nettles


Day 2 we relocated to the Cotswolds AONB Discovery Centre at Northleach, where we got creative in the Old Victorian Court Room, weaving with the student’s fabulous hand-spun wool and the wool yarn they had dyed the previous day. Visual sources of inspiration were translated using card windings and paper weaving for colour and proportion into weave patterns using the rigid heddle and back-strap technique.
Amazingly creative beautiful pieces from these absolute beginners, don’t you think…

Using a tapestry technique, clasped weft

Using a tapestry technique, clasped weft

Backstrap weaving using natural fleece colours and plant dyed wool

Backstrap weaving using natural fleece colours and plant dyed wool

Inspired by Delphiniums

Inspired by Delphiniums

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