Where do you go for weaving, spinning or dyeing ideas? The lovely photos on Instagram and Twitter can be great, but sometimes you want the feel of a print magazine or book. Paging through a magazine or a classic weaving or spinning book can be a relaxing way to find inspiration and is easily accomplished with the resources available to you at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota and Textile Center Library.
All WGM members can check out materials from the Textile Center Library. An incredible resource, the library has the largest collection of circulating textile resources in the country, with over 30,000 publications. Over 15 different guilds have contributed to the collection. You can look for DVDs, magazines, and books and check them out during an in-person visit. Out of town members can contact librarian Nancy Mambi to arrange for books via snail mail. If you are new to WGM, mention that at checkout, as it does take time to coordinate our member rolls and keep track of our 600+ members!
Spending a few minutes with a magazine before a member meeting can spark a new project. There is a substantial set of reference magazines in the WGM space, which includes Handwoven, Shuttle Spindle Dyepot, Spinoff and Wild Fibers. Väv, a Scandinavian weaving magazine published in Sweden, is one of the most popular magazines we have in reference. Many of the same magazines can be checked out from the Textile Center Library.
Another great resource is the WGM Swatch Collection, a sizeable set of blue spiral bound notebooks with woven fabric samples. The notebooks are arranged by the number of shafts needed to make each sample, from 2-shaft color & weave patterns to 12-shaft tied weaves. Each swatch is attached to the full pattern draft, making it possible to recreate the same weave yourself. The samples are an enormous help in understanding how yarn thickness, warp setts and colors affect the final look of a weaving project. A list of these notebooks can be found here.
WGM’s fiber art reference books, which also remain on-site, are housed in a tall bookcase in the floor loom classroom. Use them to answer simple or complex questions on a wide range of fiber art topics. Most of these books can be checked out of the Textile Center Library; see the list of these reference books here. If you find a project you want to pore over, you can use the WGM copy machine (for a small fee per page) to make copies of any article or project.
While you’re at the guild, don’t forget to check out the sale shelves at WGM or the Textile Center Library, especially if you are looking to buy a few classic books. Both organizations receive many donations and sell extra books and magazines at discounted rates.
Whatever project you’re working on–or about to get started–let WGM help you jump start the process!
–Jere Thompson, New and Occasional Weavers interest group leader