Saturday, July 16, 2011

Textiles on a Journey

Scotland is the country of cold winds, I realized this very soon and started feeling cold, then, when the sun came out, I got out of my jacket hastily. We were walking for hours to see all the fascinating places in Edinburgh, so we got warm again, then back into freezing shadows -- constant changes, I guess this is what they call a stimulating climate. At night I had the problem of my cover being way too warm.
This became my sleeping cover

Naturally I felt attracted by shops with wool things in their display. One of them is more a museum than a shop, it is a workshop with sales departments, the weaving mill. I found a beautiful rug, containing 70% wool, for 20 GBP, approx. 27$. The wool is mostly from Australia or Eastern Europe.
In this museum, you could see tartan weaving looms at work, have your ancestor research being made and your coat of arms embroidered if you wish...
Bone tools from
2000 years ago
Then, there is another museum in Edinburgh that I could have spent days and days in. It is the National Museum of Scotland on Chamber Street, just a few walking minutes away from the Royal Mile. It is a wonderful modern building, more built around the expositions than expositions having been put into it. It has many lovely perspectives inside, and you don't get lost because all the rooms have different shapes, so you know exactly: "now I'm in the tower part" or wherever.
A collection of scraps from
early 20th century

(something for Jude!)
In the early history part, you can see stone and bone tools for weaving and sewing (among all the other crafts). There are also things from the 19th and 20th century: Fabric printing patterns like this paisley and red "Turkish" samples; looms, wheels and very refined knitting.
I just mentioned the textile things. But there is so much more. The whole of the museum is so full of issues related to Scotland and its history. I was deeply impressed by the Pictic stone carvings and the skills of early craftsmen and -women.
Back home, I realized how much I got trained by climate and walking. I'm in the shape of my life, and I miss the clear, windy climate of Scotland. It is so much healthier than what we have here. Scotland, we'll be back some other time!


Judy said...

love, love, love the paisleys!


Anonymous said...

Eva, thank you for the wonderful photos from Scotland. I am here in the USA but my heritage is German, Norwegian, & Scottish. I always feel a strong pull for anything Scottish and I loved the photos from the Museum. I think it is genetic memory. I have followed your blog for a couple of years and I always enjoy your colourful art, it is striking and memorable. Thank you for sharing! Diane

Marion said...

Glad you liked our country and capital city, Eva.
I live just over the river from Edinburgh and can see the lights of the city from my bedroom window. I'll be over there for the whole of August as we have a stand in the Edinburgh Festival Craft Market. It's not always windy - sometimes it rains!!

Yael said...

A wonderful post Eva-Maria, so interesting and informative!
Oh yes and I love the paisleys too, named after the lovely town in Scotland!

jude said...

oh the pics are great. the sample book is a lot like some of the old book i picked up for free when one of the companies worked for decided to trash their library. the book fell apart but the cloth swatches remained useable! thank you for the picks, love the paisleys too.
been so busy, not surfing the web much. looks like you had a great time.

nandas said...

eva! i loved seeing scotland with you! i haven't been there for 25 years... but i loved it and always wanted to go back. don't worry about not stitching while you were there... always plenty more time!

Rayna said...

You're back!!! Loved reading about your journey and you look fabulous in the violin photo. So glad you had a wonderful trip!!

Diane said...

It sounds like such a wonderful trip. I have always wanted to visit Scotland myself. Now I want to go even more.

Heather Woollove said...

What a lovely post!! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures with the rest of us!