Collections
Other Name
TEA TOWEL, LETHBRIDGE HANDICRAFT GUILD OF WEAVERS
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20140037000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
TEA TOWEL, LETHBRIDGE HANDICRAFT GUILD OF WEAVERS
Date
2014
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
82
Width
39
Description
PLAID, HANDWOVEN TEA TOWEL MADE UP OF VARIOUS PLAID PATTERNS. THE BASE THROUGHOUT THE TOWEL IS A SYMMETRICAL PATTERN OF BANDS (DARK BLUE, LIGHT BLUE, GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, PINK, DARK PURPLE, AND LIGHT PURPLE). THERE IS A CARDBOARD TAG ATTACHED THAT READS, “LETHBRIDGE HANDICRAFT…” PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND “GALT TOWEL… GUILD WEAVERS” HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK. THE REVERSE OF THE CARD HAS CARE INSTRUCTIONS. THE TOWEL IS 82 CM BY 39 CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. CREASED AT THE FOLDS.
Subjects
MAINTENANCE T&E
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
COMMEMORATIVE
DOMESTIC
TRADES
History
AN EXHIBITION AT THE GALT MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES TITLED "WOVEN IN TIME: CELEBRATING 65 YEARS WITH LETHBRIDGE WEAVERS" WAS ORGANIZED BY GALT CURATOR WENDY AITKENS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LETHBRIDGE HANDICRAFT GUILD OF WEAVERS. THE EXHIBITION RAN FROM JUNE 7 TO SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 AND DISPLAYED THE HISTORY OF THE GUILD WITHIN THE COMMUNITY SINCE ITS RE-ESTABLISHMENT IN 1949. THE EXHIBITION INCLUDED BOTH HERITAGE AND RECENT WEAVINGS, ARCHIVAL MATERIAL, DEMONSTRATION VIDEOS, AND WEAVERS WHO SAT AT A LOOM IN THE EXHIBIT CREATING 6 COTTON TEA TOWELS. OF THESE TOWELS, ONE WAS CHOSE FOR DONATION TO THE MUSEUM. THIS TEA TOWEL SHOWS SEVERAL DESIGNS CREATED BY THE WEAVERS WHO SAT AT THE LOOM IN THE EXHIBIT. IT WAS CREATED AS A WEAVING DEMONSTRATION WITH AT LEAST SEVEN WEAVERS DESIGNING THE PATTERN AND WORKING ON IT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THE LETHBRIDGE HANDICRAFT GUILD OF WEAVERS HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM TEXTS WRITTEN FOR THE EXHIBITION BY AITKENS: “IN THE PAST, FUNCTIONAL HOUSEHOLD ITEMS SUCH AS CLOTHING, BEDDING AND OTHER NECESSITIES WERE WOVEN BY HAND, ON HOMEMADE LOOMS. WITH THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, MASS PRODUCED WOVEN PRODUCTS EMPLOYED MANY PEOPLE IN FACTORIES MAKING THINGS THAT THEY WOULD HAVE MADE EARLIER AT HOME. AS TIME PASSED THERE WAS A GROWING FEAR THAT THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED TO PRODUCE HANDMADE WOVEN ARTICLES WOULD BE LOST. CONSEQUENTLY, FOLLOWED MOVEMENTS IN BRITAIN, SEVERAL WOMEN IN MONTREAL FORMED THE CANADIAN HANDICRAFTS GUILD [CHG] IN 1905 TO PRESERVE THESE TRADITIONAL ART AND CRAFT SKILLS. … BY THE LATE 1800S, MEN AND WOMEN WERE RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR ADVANCED SKILL IN WEAVING, AND GUILDS WERE ESTABLISHED IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS CANADA, INCLUDING EDMONTON, VANCOUVER, AND WINNIPEG. GUILDS ALSO ENCOURAGED PRODUCTION OF FURNITURE, JEWELRY DESIGN, LEATHER AND IRON WORK, AS WELL AS OTHER ARTISTIC ENDEAVOURS. THE NATIONAL GUILD TRANSFERRED ITS ASSETS TO THE QUEBEC PROVINCIAL BRANCH OF THE CHG IN 1936. "THE LETHBRIDGE BRANCH OF THE CHG WAS FOUNDED IN 1935. IT WAS DISCONTINUED DURING WWII BECAUSE RED CROSS PROJECTS, WHICH SUPPORTED SOLDIERS OVERSEAS, WERE THE PRIORITY. AFTER THE WAR IN 1949, ELEVEN LOCAL WOMEN REBUILT THE CHG AND OFFERED COURSES IN NEEDLEWORK, LEATHERWORK, COPPER TOOLING, GLOVE MAKING, POTTERY, ALUMINUM ETCHING, AND OTHER CRAFTS INCLUDING, IN 1951, WEAVING. MEETINGS AND CLASSES WERE HELD IN THE CANADIAN WESTERN NATURAL GAS COMPANY BUILDING [420 – 6 ST. S] AND THE RED CROSS ROOMS [1160 – 7 AVE S] UNTIL 1964 WHEN THE GUILD MOVED TO THE BOWMAN ARTS CENTRE [811 – 5 AVE. S]. “SINCE 1951, WHEN WEAVING BECAME A POPULAR ACTIVITY IN THE LETHBRIDGE HANDICRAFT GUILD, MEMBERS PRACTICED THEIR ART, TAUGHT OTHERS HOW TO WEAVE, AND SHARED THEIR PIECES WITH THE PUBLIC THROUGH SHOWS AND SALES. INITIALLY, 16 BOX LOOMS WERE PURCHASED FROM EATON’S FOR EVERYONE TO USE. IN 1954, GUILD MEMBERS SAVED LABELS FROM SOUP CANS AND WHEN THEY TURNED THEIR LABELS IN TO THE CAMPBELL COMPANY THEY RECEIVED $165 TO PURCHASE A FLOOR LOOM. TODAY, THE GUILD OWNS MANY LOOMS OF VARYING SIZES. "THE LETHBRIDGE GUILD HAS ALWAYS OPERATED AS A CO-OPERATIVE. ALL THE LOOMS ARE OWNED BY THE GUILD AND THEY ARE SET UP WITH A COMMON WARP (THE LONG THREADS ON THE LOOM) FOR ALL MEMBERS TO USE. GUILD MEMBERS WORK TOGETHER TO PLAN GROUP PROJECTS SUCH AS A FRIENDSHIP BED COVERLET, TEA TOWELS AND PLACE MATS. MEMBERS USE TRADITIONAL FIBRES SUCH AS COTTON, LINEN AND WOOL BUT THEY ALSO EXPERIMENT WITH YARNS MADE FROM YAK, DOG AND POSSUM HAIR. THEY ALSO USED RIBBONS, ZIPPERS AND VHS TAPES TO CREATE IMAGINATIVE WORKS OF ART. "IN THE EARLY 2000S, GUILD MEMBERS ASKED CITY COUNCIL FOR PERMISSION TO DEVELOP AN OFFICIAL TARTAN FOR LETHBRIDGE. MONTHS OF WEAVING SAMPLES, CHOOSING THE PERFECT PATTERN, AND GETTING COUNCIL APPROVAL RESULTED IN A SPECTACULAR TARTAN WHICH WAS UNIQUE IN THE WORLD. THE TARTAN WAS OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED BY THE SCOTTISH TARTAN SOCIETY. "KNOWLEDGEABLE LOCAL WEAVERS TAUGHT ADULTS AND CHILDREN THE ART OF WEAVING, SPINNING, AND DYING. MASTER WEAVERS FROM OUTSIDE LETHBRIDGE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT IN TO EXPAND THE TECHNIQUES AND STYLES OF GUILD MEMBERS. THE GUILD RECEIVED INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FROM INTERWEAVE PRESS WHEN IT WON THE FIBERHEARTS AWARD IN 2005 FOR ITS UNIQUE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM. THE $500 RECEIVED WITH THE AWARD ALLOWED NOVICE WEAVERS TO LEARN FROM EXPERIENCED WEAVERS.” PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Catalogue Number
P20140037000
Acquisition Date
2014-09
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail