The Journal for Weavers Spinners and Dyers


Fleece washing, which way is best?

Fleece Washing

Creating a finished item from a fleece is a rewarding experience. The start of this journey is washing the fleece but, with many approaches advocated, which is the best? This article is the result of two days of testing and describes a comparison of seven methods from various sources, referenced at the end of the article. A method of fleece washing based on these test results is proposed.


•	Group of some of the sheep in the project L-R, starting with the black face: North Ronaldsay, Shetland, North Ronaldsay, Shetland, Castlemilk x2. There are several Cheviots in the background.  Photo: Ruth Dalton

Exploring Primitive Breeds

In late 2018, the Cumbria Support Group of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust1 (RBST) launched their Primitive Produce Project.


Woad in flower in the garden

Woad from seed to dye

There is currently a strong interest and a resurgence in using natural dyes. I enjoy growing woad in my garden and I have found that the following methods work well for me, as the magic of indigo is so captivating.


The Peter Tavey Guild Challenge

What a Challenge!

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Challenge’? Maybe it has negative connotations for you, or maybe it offers something to be conquered.
This article describes the challenge the Peter Tavy Weaving Group set themselves for 2018.


Sun burst ruffled coat detail

Loom-Controlled 3D Shaping for Garments — An Interview with Sally Eyring

The wonderful world of Sally Eyring


Mary Quant, Gor-Ray, Marks & Spencer, Burberry, Aquascutum: these are just some of the companies and designers who used the West of England cloth produced in Trowbridge, when the weaving industry was still viable

New Threads: Uncovering the Stories of England’s Past Weaving Industry

For centuries, cloth production was the main industry in and around Trowbridge. Many local people can still trace ancestors connected to the weaving trade.


Michael Williams is a modest man, and an exceptionally fine craftsman.

Modesty and a Fine Great Wheel

Michael Williams is a modest man, and an exceptionally fine craftsman. I interviewed him three years ago for an article about his super-light and über-fast drop spindles and, as I was leaving, I asked him whether he had ever thought about making a spinning wheel.


This article is about the distinguishing features of a Jacquard loom.

What is Jacquard Weaving?

Before I write about Jacquard looms I want to define a loom as a tensioning device.


My inspiration - a Giant Atlas Moth

Designing with Colour for Spinning

My inspiration - a Giant Atlas Moth




An artists’ colour wheel showing the three primary colours (red, blue, yellow) and the three secondary colours (purple, green, orange)

The Theory of Colour Perception

Colour perception depends not only on how light enters our eyes and triggers nerve impulses within the retina, but also on how our brains interpret these signals.


Private exhibition of my first year's work

A Year’s Weaving – Learning to Weave on Home-Made Looms

This is the story of my first year of weaving, mainly on home-made looms. I celebrated it with an exhibition of my work for friends, neighbours and members of the Guild.



Three historic purples

Tyrian Treasure: A Surprise from the Archive

A small envelope of purple threads fell from the hinges of an upturned rusty trunk: I stared with some incredulity at handwriting in red ink claiming the envelope’s contents to be ‘Tyrian Purple, dyed with the bodies of shellfish found on the African coast'.


Spinning in the grease

Wool Fleece. To Wash or Not to Wash? That is the Question.

Whenever I am asked whether it is best to wash sheep’s fleece before spinning, or spin raw fleece ‘in the grease’, I always have the same answer.


Yaks being milked

Teaching in Tibet

I left on 18 July, flew into Chengdu in China for an overnight stay, then flew on up to Labrang (in Amdo, an area of Tibet just on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau)


River Narayana

Everything Worthwhile Starts in the Mind

Michael Crompton describes his design process from travel inspiration to woven tapestry.


Recent issue cover

These articles appear in the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

The Journal is published on behalf of the Association of Guilds of Spinners Weavers and Dyers. It covers a wide range of textile subjects, including articles on historic textile techniques and cutting edge modern design.

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