"Beautiful location. Excellent instructors" - Alan (Burford, Oxfordshire)


Introduction to Weaving *NOW ONLY £49 (normally £65)* ONLY 3 PLACE LEFT

7th July 2017 | Northleach, Gloucestershire
| £49
Course Provider: Cotswolds Conservation Board
A practical insight into the traditional Cotswold craft of Wool Weaving

Working mainly with British Wools in natural fleece and plant dyed colours, spend a day with local Textile Designer and Hand-weaver, Rebecca Connolly, exploring the craft of Weaving. Suited to all ages and those with little experience; however for students who have some experience the course will develop your weave technique and design skills.

Using the simple rigid heddle with back-strap type loom, students will set up their own loom and produce a length (up to 75cm) or two of hand-woven cloth up to 4” wide, to take home.

The weaving can be simply a series of experimental weave samples, a decorative art piece to hang on a wall or could be transformed with a little stitching into a unique useful item such as a pocket for a mobile phone. 


Course content

The day will include:

  •      weave design ideas and techniques, using colour, proportion and texture
  •      making/winding a warp in a single yarn/colour and multiple yarns and colours
  •      threading and tensioning the warp on a rigid-heddle loom
  •      weaving technique including starting, ending, joining yarns and changing colours
  •      pattern weaving using two colours
  •      weave structures, going beyond plain weave including a demonstration on a 4-shaft table loom
           (confident students can have a a go at some experimental weaving on this loom too) 

Each topic will be introduced with a view to participation wherever possible at a level each individual student is comfortable with. The aim is to build on your skills throughout the day whatever level you start at.  

Historical background

The weaving of cloth was originally carried out in the stone cottages dotted along the steep sided valleys of the Cotswolds, using locally produced fleece, for local needs. As the trade in woollen cloth grew, the Cotswold breed of sheep was farmed on a large scale. The cleaned, spun wool was supplied to these home-based weavers and provided them with an income, they were paid for the amount of cloth they wove. Later in an effort to produce a uniform 'West of England Cloth' in quantity, hand-loom weavers were moved into ‘mills’; in 1840 Gloucestershire recorded over 1000 hand-loom weavers in such factories.

There is one sizeable company remaining weaving cloth (for tennis balls and biliard tables) but successful small studio weavers are dotted throughout the region responding to the resurgence in the appreciation of hand craft skills.



What you need to know or bring with you

Wool yarns, tools and looms will be provided. 


The focus is on weaving with wool, so if you have some wool yarn, bought or hand-spun you would like to try out, bring it along.


A pair of small sharp scissors, a tape measure and a notebook will be useful, as are phones with cameras!


Refreshments will be served on arrival and mid afternoon.



We take a half hour break for lunch which can be purchased from the excellent on site cafe or bring a packed lunch.


About the Instructor

Rebecca Connolly is a graduate of Bath Spa University where she studied Textile Design, specialising in Weave. She is a Licentiate of The Society of Designer Craftsmen, and exhibits with The Society at The Mall Galleries, London.


She has a weave studio locally, where she designs and weaves to commission alongside teaching Weaving and Natural Dyeing; currently for Bath School of Art & Design, Cotswold AONB, Cotswold Farm Park and at The Bothy @ Vanessa Arbuthnott in Cirencester. She has also won awards from the Bradford Textile Society and the Campaign for Wool and was a selected Designer/Maker for the Cambrian Mountains International Wool Challenge 2015, designing and hand-weaving cloth for an upholstered long footstool, which was exhibited nationally.





Rebecca has been weaving for 7 years, often weaving on vintage looms to keep these skills and knowledge alive, and is passionate about supporting British rural industry and using wool for its eco-credentials, versatility and qualities. 


Rebecca's website is rebeccaconnollydesign.com