Thursday, October 11, 2007

Textile Museum re-visited

I am upset. More to the point, I am disappointed. Wait, there is no need to duck for cover - the person my disappointment is aimed at is me. You see I think I let my end down. Please allow me to rectify things by going into more details regarding my visit to the textile museum.

The building alone is worth further description. Large windows welcome in natural light which illuminates the fine work. Our visit took place on a sun soaked day.

From the foyer, the first room we walked into is reserved as an art gallery disapplying the work of current fabric artists. We saw the work of an Icelandic-American, she painstakingly hand paints thread which she uses to weave beautiful tapestries.

Next we walked into a whitewashed room. The walls are adorned with embroidery. Many of the pieces are elegant ladies' undergarments. Standing proudly among this collection are wooden display cases. Pulling out a drawer uncovers wondrous treasure: carefully preserved handwork. Drawer after drawer after drawer of fine examples of crochet, tatting, lacework and embroidery.

Following our museum guild we were guided in to a room which proudly displayed the woman of Iceland national costume. This collection dates from 1850 to 1900.

She then guided us to a room that contained the belongings of Halldora Bjarnadottir. Halldora never had children, she never married instead she devoted her life to helping the woman of Iceland and to preserving their fine handwork.

From here we are guided into what I call "the room of wool". A collection of knitting and wool dyeing is kept here. Intricate, delicate work of sticks and wool. We saw a 150 year old pot that was used to dye yarn in natural dyes.

Now watch your step as you climb down the stairs descending from the gentile to the rough and ready. I remember seeing fisherman's leggings. These leggings were worn over the pant leg and encased the whole leg in wool. I also saw an undershirt knit in wool. Hubby thought it would have drove him crazy from scratching if forced to wear it ...although he had to admit that it would have kept him warm.

Last but not least, in the back of the room are equipment used to work wool:
hand wool carders(this site teaches you how to prepare fibre with wool carders,
a hand spindle (This site teaches you how to make a hand spindle,2025,DIY_14141_3447419,00.html),
and even a pair of knitting needles.
Our museum guild skillfully showed us how to spin the wool using the hand spindle.

There now I feel better.


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