An exhibition of work by the Kennet Valley Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers.
23rd August - 17 September 2023.
Gallery 5, West Berkshire Museum, The Wharf, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5AS
Museum opening hours:
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday 10 am–4 pm
Thursday 10 am–4 pm
Friday 10 am–4 pm
Saturday 10 am–4 pm
Sunday 10 am–4 pm
The Museum Café is a lovely space to enjoy a cuppa or a coffee.
The Kennet Valley Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers was formed in 1977 by a small group of keen spinners. Since then, the Guild has grown to over 75 members ranging in age from 7 to 107. The KVGWSD is a collective of yarn and fibre enthusiasts who’s aim is to share the love of traditional hand crafts with like-minded people.
Our 2023 exhibition in Gallery 5 at the West Berkshire Museum explores the nature of circles and spheres through the medium of traditional and contemporary crafts, which include our core skills of weaving, spinning and dyeing. Expect to see plenty of pattern, colour, texture and creativity.
We love to share our knowledge and take our looms, spinning wheels and drop spindles to local events throughout the year to demonstrate spinning and weaving techniques. Visitors are actively encouraged to try these traditional crafts.
On the first Saturday of every month the Guild gets together at St. Mary’s Church Hall in Greenham, Newbury for a day of social and practical pursuits. We regularly invite a speaker to give us a talk in the afternoon. Subjects are many and varied such as ‘Madder - a history, horticulture and use’ and ‘From fleece to pleats - a history of tartan and kilt making’. This year we’re looking forward to welcoming a variety of speakers including a nettle spinning expert and a London based fine fabric weaver.
Our weavers get together in Speen once a month with their looms to chat about weaving and work together as a group. Many KVGWSD members are fans of yarn and fabric dyeing and this year we have organised a full day natural dyeing workshop for members who are interested in developing their skills.
The Guild also has a cohort of keen braiders, many of whom belong to The Braid Society. Kumihimo and Marudai techniques create flat, round or square cords and tapes for many uses such as jewellery, shoelaces and bag handles. Beads can be incorporated into a braid to great effect. Heritage lucet cording tool techniques and nålbindiing are also popular forms of braiding.
Our skill levels range from complete beginner to expert and all are welcome to join our friendly and inclusive group. Enjoy two free visits to our monthly Guild meetings to see if you like us and what we’re offering. Come along and try your hand at spinning, weaving or braiding at one of our ‘have a go’ sessions at the West Berkshire Museum in August and September.
We look forward to meeting you!