About the Kennet Valley Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers
Welcome to the Kennet Valley Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers website!
My name is Louisa Homden, and I’m the Chairman of our Guild. I’d like to take this opportunity to
give a brief introduction to who we are and what we do.
Our Guild has its roots in 1977 when Jan and John Shailes got together with some friends in their
sitting room to spin. As time went on, more people came along, and the group decided to join
Berkshire Guild. In 1979, the growing band, struggling to get to Sonning for Guild meetings, took
the plunge and formed their own Guild in Newbury, which has been in existence continuously since
then. We have about 80 members, who between them cover an enormous range of textile skills,
with experience ranging from beginners right through to experts.
Our members teach and exhibit regularly: we have a busy programme of events like the Royal
County of Berkshire Show and we visit local schools to show the children how cloth is made.
Recently we ran mini workshops, and mounted a large exhibition, at the West Berkshire Museum in
Newbury. We run historically inspired events like the 200th anniversary of the Newbury Coat which involved the whole Guild.
On the first Saturday of each month the Guild meets in Newbury so that the members can get
together and share ideas, tips and techniques. The day may include an external speaker, or a mini
workshop, or a course, and these are always shown in the programme.
We particularly welcome beginners, or the just curious, to come and have a go. As you might
expect, we run beginners’ courses in weaving, spinning and dyeing, but we also broaden things into
other craft areas like willow weaving, Dorset button making, 3D paper basketry, felting and
bookbinding to name but a few.
If you’re interested, please get in touch using the contact details onn the CONTACT US page. We
would be very happy to hear from you! Alternatively, you could just drop by on any Guild Saturday
and you’ll be made more than welcome.
I look forward meeting you.
Kennet Valley Guild Chairman