Heirlooms

shuttlesEvery now and again I’m lucky enough when a friend or colleague (or both) shows me something fibre- or craft-related that belonged to a relative, or was made by a relative. Fibre-crafts and social history, the perfect mix!

Today I held a drop spindle and some weaving shuttles that had been brought from Cypress in their grandparents’ luggage, together with some home-produced, homespun silk, not to mention a wooden hand reel fsilk.jpgor catching the evening meal. All were at least eighty years old.

I was a bit nervous at first to take hold of the drop spindle, but when I did, the first thing was to run my fingers along the grain of the wood and smell it. Just like an old church, or the Guild room – wood, wax polish and plenty of human usage! The silk had no smell, just sheen and body, and plenty of promise. There were also several reels made from bamboo (grown in the village), wound round with handspun cotton. Enough to write a book on? Definitely!

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