Friday, October 14, 2016

Waulking The Cloth

I was walking through my memory album the other day--this album contains all my memories of adventures, trials and tribulations.  I came across the photos of the days when we would Waulk cloth for a demonstration at a local plantation.  In those days, I would weave wool yardage in traditional Scottish fashion to be Waulked at these demos.  And we would waulk the cloth with our Scottish friend singing a Gaelic song for us to keep time and pound the cloth!  


  
Waulking (in Gaelic ruadh) is the technique of finishing the newly-woven tweed by soaking it and thumping it rhythmically to shrink and soften it - all done by hand in the old days. The songs served to keep the rhythm and lighten the work.


Here you have the sounds of waulking with gaelic song.
Here are some of my photos from 1996 when we did several rounds of waulking with Norman Kennedy at Oakley Plantation, Audubon State Park (the location where John Jay Audubon painted his famous bird scenes--but there's another time for the blog on that)

The wool fabric is wetted, waulked around the table and once fulled to the master's satisfaction, laid out and wound around a board that allows it to dry.  Norman, or the master waulker, blesses the blankets for future generations.  These blanket was woven for my grandkids.
An article was written on this topic for Handwoven magazine--Waulking The Web--
if you ever have a chance to participate in waulking, jump right in!

I've retired from weaving blankets--I've done my 12 as required for the Acadian hope chest.

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