Textiles at the Celtic Festival

Demonstrations of wool spinning, weaving, and lace making by members of the Spinners’ Flock, a spinning guild now in it’s 33rd year. Guild members will also have items for sale.

waulkingTweed waulking demonstrations, lead again by Frances Acar, originally from the Isle of Barra in the outer Hebrides of Scotland. Waulking handwoven tweed while singing Gaelic waulking songs is almost as rare as siting an Ivory Billed Woodpecker. But you can see it again this year, right here in Saline at the textile tent. Look for the demonstration times in the general program.

Waulking the tweed is a traditional Scottish technique for shrinking and wet-finishing hand-woven woolen cloth. Several yards of hand-woven cloth are immersed in water, and then passed around a circle of “waulkers”, who thump the wet material on a table as they pass it from one person to another. The cloth makes a number of transits around the table until the weave has been suitably shrunken and “fulled,” resulting in a heavier, denser fabric than when it started. Gaelic waulking songs, to maintain the rhythm and lighten the work, traditionally accompany the process.