Weaving silk scarves for our 2015 raffle

Our weaver members are still hard at work creating their handwoven silk scarves for our 2015 raffle. Today we meet Dot, who is one of the weavers in our silk scarf team, and gain an insight into her weaving process.

Dot weaving close up

Dot first learnt to weave at school in Australia. She took up weaving as a serious hobby 30 years ago and is “still learning”. Dot has been a member of the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers for 15 years; she also spins and, during the Summer months, can be found dyeing wools and silk in her garden.

Handspun silk ready for the loom

Handspun silk ready for the loom

Weaving silk scarves is Dot’s favourite weaving item and she especially enjoys the planning of a new project and redeveloping ideas and processes. Over the years, Dot has woven a few scarves for the ESGWSD Exhibition and keeps keeps copious notes to see how the project works out and believes this is very important.

Here, Dot has used 64grams of silk for the warp on her scarf. The weft used is silk (60/2 times, 2 different colours). The pattern used for the weave is “Plain Weave” at 20 ends per inch (epi). The scarf edges on the warp are the same colour and the rest of the warp is threaded randomly, she uses a floating selvedge to give a neat edge to the scarf.

The loom set up and ready to go

The loom set up and ready to go

Starting to weave

Starting to weave


Meet the Trader – Romney Marsh Wools

This week we meet Romney Marsh Wools (http://romneymarshwools.co.uk/).


Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Romney Marsh Wools is a family business which sells a wide range of products made from our own fleeces from our family farm. All of our products are made in the UK.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

Our range features throws and cushions, toiletries containing Lanolin, handmade gifts, knitting yarn, our natural sheepskin moccasins and more!

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

We are very much looking forward to meeting fellow wool enthusiasts and making contact with producers who work with sheep fleeces!

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See you in October!

Meet the trader – The Threshing Barn

This week we meet Janet Phillips from The Threshing Barn (http://www.threshingbarn.com/).


Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Hello, I’m Janet Phillips and I relocated The Threshing Barn to a converted spinning mill on the border of Cumbria and Yorkshire Dales, so I have a perfect location to live and work  surrounded by the fells and sheep. I retail my spinning, weaving, dyeing, and wool supplies directly from the workshop,via my website, visits to guilds and textile events.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

I shall be bringing a selection of new products such as the new Louet concept spinning wheel, the Strauch ball winders, swifts and drum carders, Glimakra rigid heddle looms, weaving yarns such as cotton, alpaca  and my hand dyed wool tops.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

I love coming to the Guild event to meet friends and customers and eat in lovely restaurants in the evening. I also enjoy the exhibition of your members work which is always of a very high standard.

See you in October, Janet!



Meet the trader – DT Craft & Design

In the first of our new series on the traders who will be attending the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers’ Exhibition this October, we meet Debbie Tomkies from DT Craft & Design (www.dtcrafts.co.uk)

Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

We are specialist suppliers of dyes, yarns, fibres and equipment for hand-dyers and textile artists. I have over 25 years experience as a dyer, spinner, knitter, crocheter and felter so I’m always happy to answer questions and advise on your dyeing and textile-related conundrums!

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

We’ll be bringing our extensive range of dyes to the event – procion and acid dyes, Kool Aid, natural dye extracts and Botanical Colors liquid natural dyes. We’ll also have a wide selection of gorgeous yarns and fibres specially selected for dyeing (or using as they are, of course!). For knitters and crocheters we’ll have needles, hooks and notions and we’ll also be bringing a lovely range of books and my exclusive pattern designs.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

We always look forward to the exhibition – the wealth of talent is nothing short of inspirational (and I’m still hoping to win a raffle prize one day!). The people are always lovely and so welcoming and Lewes is a charming town. And of course it would be remiss of me not to mention the cakes – it’s interesting how textiles and great baking always seem to go hand in hand!

See you in October, Debbie!

Award-winning exhibit at the South of England Show

The East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers were delighted to be invited to attend the South of England Show in Ardingly, Sussex, from 11th  to 13th June 2015. The annual event, organised by the South of England Agricultural Society, showcases the best of agriculture and farming across the South East region and is attended by tens of thousands of visitors.

ESGWSD had a large group of members at the event, demonstrating their spinning and weaving skills, as well as exhibiting their hand spun, woven and dyed work. We are delighted to have been awarded Third Prize for Best Exhibit in the Wildlife, Farming and Forestry Area and are looking forward to displaying more of our award-winning  work at our very own exhibition in October.

South of England Show

Spotlight on: creating silk scarves for our 2015 raffle

Our Guild members are hard at work preparing beautiful, handwoven silk scarves to be the prizes in our raffle at our 2015 exhibition. Here’s the story so far!

October 2014

Glorious colours of silk were given out to more than 30 spinners, who were asked to prepare and spin a singles yarn strong enough for use in the warp and to set it in the hank. Some of this work was done collaboratively at the monthly Guild meetings, some at home in our members’ own time.


January 2015

A wonderful selection of well-spun yarn appeared – beautiful mixtures, as well as plain colours.


February 2015

A group of our weavers met and had the daunting task of sorting the spun yarns into ‘scarf kits’.

March 2015

Kits were given to some of our weaver members, who have been asked to use the handspun yarns to produce a warp-faced fabric, weaving them together with a very fine commercial silk.


April 2015

The scarves are on the looms and weaving is underway!

Scarf weaving

Exhibition 2015 – official launch

The East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers is delighted to announce that it will be holding its next biennial exhibition on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 October 2015. The exhibition’s will once again be held at Lewes Town Hall. The exhibition will promote the craft of weaving, spinning and dyeing and will also showcase members’ work. There will be opportunities for people to try their hand at spinning and weaving, browse a selection of equipment and supplies on sale in our trader marketplace and enjoy coffee, lunches and afternoon teas. Some comments from visitors to our 2013 exhibition:

“Inspiring! Lovely colours, textures, interesting processes”

“Lovely day at Lewes – lovely exhibition passing on knowledge”

“Really great show – loved all the hands on activities!”

“Great to see so much experimental work and great traders’ market, too”

“Once again East Sussex excelled itself – great event!”