Peggy Hart is a production weaver and teacher who designs, produces, and markets hundreds of blankets each year including custom blankets for sheep and alpaca farmers using their own yarn. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design, worked as a weaver in one of the last mills in Rhode Island, and has woven for the last thirty years on Crompton and Knowles W-3 looms. She has a special affinity for wool, and her book Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artists and Innovation was published November 2017.
As new yarns and processes become available, textile manufacturers have often embraced them, and cloth evolved to suit the needs of the time. Much as polyester doubleknits swept the 1960s, satinett and cassimere accounted for most of the woolen cloth production in 19th century mills, although these two woolen fabrics are virtually unknown today. Jean, thickset, and cassinet were other fabrics manufactured during this period. The talk will reference weavers’ draft books, mill records, artifacts, mill industry publications, and census records to put them in context: how and when were they manufactured and how were they used?
The talk will include a history and examples of these fabrics. Participants may use information to recreate historical fabrics, or reimagine them with today’s yarns (think satinett with a bamboo or cottolin warp). Cassimere weave structures ranged from simple twill to “fancy” (multishaft).