Durham Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers was founded over 40 years ago by a small group of fibre enthusiasts, some of whom continue to participate actively in Guild events. Since its foundation, the aims of the Guild have been twofold:
- The promotion of public interest and education in the crafts of hand spinning, weaving and related textile crafts such as dyeing and felt making.
- The preservation and development of techniques and equipment for the furtherance of the above.
Today these aims are pursued in a number of different ways. We meet once a month, currently on the third Saturday of the month, in St Oswald’s Institute, Church Street, Durham DH1 3DQ between 10am and 4pm. Sometimes these meetings take the form of a workshop, sometimes we have speakers giving talks, and other times we simply meet to spin, weave, knit and chat. These meetings are open to non-members so everyone is welcome to come and see what we do.
Guild members often go out demonstrating at public events such as local Agricultural Shows. We make regular appearances at RSPB Saltholme and the World Heritage Site Museum on Palace Green in Durham city centre and at the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead.
The Guild has spinning and weaving equipment for loan, so members can try out new skills before investing in equipment. We also have an extensive library, which is free for members.
The Guild is affiliated to the national Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. There are over 100 Guilds across the U.K. and Europe and an online Guild with members worldwide. The Association organises a biennial Summer School, Conference and National Exhibition. Summer School is a wonderful way of advancing your skills and meeting like-minded people from all over the country and beyond. The Association also produces a quarterly Journal with information and news about exhibitions and events around the country as well as interesting articles about a wide variety of textile related matters.
Whether you already have experience spinning, weaving or dyeing and would like to share your enjoyment with others, or, would like to have a go at one of these crafts for the first time, do please come along to one of our meetings or get in touch via this website. You can also find us on Facebook.