The Early Weaving Books and Manuscripts study group is for anyone, weaver or non-weaver, interested in 16th to early 20th century manuscripts, published books, and handwoven textiles from Europe and North America. Interest in the above is the only requirement for membership other than the payment of yearly dues.
Since the group began in late 1992 members have located dozens of pre-1910 weaving books and manuscripts in museum and private collections. Many of these are available in photocopy form for study either by purchase or from the Complex Weavers library. At the request of members of the study group, one draft book, that of Cyrus Uhler, written in 1836, was scanned and had been placed on the Internet by Lebanon Valley College which owns it.
The study group newsletter is published six times a year and is mailed to over 80 members worldwide. Topic of discussion include: newly found manuscripts, textile analysis of coverlets and linens, listings of museums with extensive textile or manuscript collections, museum exhibits of interest, books of interest, the ever-present problems of reading and interpreting someone’s working notes, and just what name to give a weave. Most newsletters contain woven samples reproduced from drafts in manuscripts or actual textiles.
Once a year there is a swatch exchange for those who choose to participate. Extra postage ($6.00) is required, as are samples and draft sheets for all participants in the exchange. In past years, as many as 48 have participated and some members weave samples for all 90+ study group members. Samples are due in April for inclusion in the May newsletter.