Melissa is a traditional handweaver, skilled spinner and adept knitter with over 30 years of experience, who began her weaving study in 1980 with Scottish master weaver Norman Kennedy. She is an avid tartan and linen weaver with a focus on 18th and 19th century American textiles, and loves sharing her passion for traditional textiles. Melissa has taught at the John C. Campbell Folk School, The Mannings, and guilds across the US since 1996.
Acadian Weaving from Canada to Louisiana
603, Sunday PM
The two-harness looms of the early French colonists in North America produced many different types of fabric through clever use of weft manipulation. France and Great Britain fought long over the lands that would become Canada’s Maritime Provinces and in 1755 the French colonists were forcibly expelled. Ten years of chaos ensued, but eventually many of these settlers found a new home in the bayous of Louisiana, and 200 years later the Acadian weavers were creating many of the same types of cloth. Learn about the history of the Acadian people and about the cloth they wove: couverture de marriage, cottonade coverlets with a la planche patterning, drugget and linsey-woolsey skirting, and bouttone.
The History of Scottish Tartans
204, Friday PM
This informative and entertaining slide lecture begins with the earliest references and images relating to tartan cloth and moves through the heart of the dramatic history of this colorful and sometimes controversial fabric. Once primarily a type of pattern woven and worn by Scottish highlanders, tartan was outlawed by the British government after the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745. The story of how tartan eventually became a national symbol of Scotland is full of fascinating characters and stories.