#281 Spring 2022

Welcome to the 70th anniversary issue of the Journal, in which we take the opportunity to look back and document how the Journal has developed. I think that those who sent out Issue 1 in 1952 would be proud, and maybe a bit surprised, at where we are today. The look of the publication and the way it is produced has changed hugely, but constant is the high standard, for which we are grateful to generations of authors and editorial committee members – all volunteers. Over the year we will bring you further articles relevant to the anniversary.

We are looking back, but not neglecting to look forward through building skills. Stacey Harvey-Brown considers the traditional overshot structure and provides guidance on designing for it. In a challenge to the accepted wisdom that letting a madder dyepot reach boiling point spoils the result, Marietta Richardson shows this is not the case and investigates the effect of water chemistry. We all enjoy spending time at our crafts – but do we always think about the impact they might be having? Alice Van Duijen provides guidance on avoiding injury or physical stress on our bodies from poor working practice.

As part of the anniversary theme, we republish an early article by master weaver and long-time JEC member Peter Collingwood. He analyses types of handloom weaver and was not alone in exploring these issues: similar articles appeared in the Journal’s forerunner, with quite uncompromising views on what was appropriate in handweaving.

Peter was looking specifically at the artistic development of handweaving, but the 2021 Summer School, which we report on in this issue, highlights another element – what the weaver, spinner or dyer derives from their craft in terms of personal satisfaction, achievement and – very relevant to the Association – the social aspect of sharing skills and being part of the creative community. Summer School participants were so pleased to be learning, exchanging ideas, building friendships and being with like-minded people. It is a cornerstone of our Guilds and Association.

Hilary Miller, Chair, Journal Editorial Committee


Anne Lander and The News Sheet of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers8
Journal Timeline pdfHilary Miller and Alison Castle10
The Versatility of OvershotStacey Harvey-Brown13
Moving with the TimesPeter Collingwood18
Interview with Paddy BakkerJanet Maher21
Madder Myths?Marietta Richardson35
Body, Mind and FibresAlice van Duijnen42