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Wool-gather with us

2 MarCommunity / Events

Do you feel a warmth towards wool? Are you in touch with textiles? The Fibre Festival at Te Manawa on 8 March will be for you.

Combining retail stalls with demonstrations of technique and expertise from all areas of the fabric world, the Fibre Festival is an essential destination for everyone with an interest in the world of wool and its cousins. Crocheters, knitters, tailors and artists will all want to mark this on their calendars.

In the museum foyer, the Spinners and Weavers’ Guild will be demonstrating their craft, turning fibres into fabric, felt and thread using techniques that haven’t changed much in thousands of years. Next to them, the Embroiderers’ Guild will show how art can be created using needle and thread. In a more modern style, the team from Bernina will guide visitors in making a “special stitch”, and the Upcycling Club will be on hand to teach flax weaving.

The stalls will be in both the foyer and the Art Gallery, where they’ll be surrounded and complemented by the large and colourful “breakout” works now on display. They will have for sale both raw materials and finished items, made mostly from wool but including felt, metal and possum fur. Perhaps the perfect jersey, scarf or pair of gloves is waiting to be discovered here.

Leimomi Oakes is the senior tutor in costume construction at Toi Whakaari. At 1pm she will give a presentation on the history and development of support undergarments, from cane and whalebone in the 18th century to today. Essential listening for clothing historians!

  • Fibre Festival, Sunday 8 March, 11am to 3pm in the museum foyer and Art Gallery. Free entry.