Browse Exhibits (5 total)

The History of the Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners

early studio.jpg

Over the past seven decades, the Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners has expanded and evolved. Founded by a group of six amateur weavers who wanted to build a supportive weaving community in Kingston, Ontario in 1948, the Guild now has over 80 members and a dedicated studio space at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning. Doreen Jeffers, Sylvia Currie, Susi Reinink, Beth Abbot, Jackie Sylvester, and Bethany Garner describe some of the major changes in the Guild since the 1960s, such as the introduction of spinning, and the move to the Tett Centre and it renovations, and Susi Reinink and Johanna Amos discuss the future direction of the Guild.

In the Community


The Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners is not just a resource for its members—the Guild participates in many events in Kingston and the surrounding area to share knowledge about spinning and weaving and to inspire new fibre artists. Nancy Bowman, Elaine Horemans, Esther Grav, Roberta McKinney, and Sylvia Currie discuss their participation in events such as Sheep to Shawl, Doors Open, First Capital Day, and the Annual Show & Sale, and the Guild's influence on the local Kingston community.



The primary mandate of the Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners is to promote the teaching of weaving, spinning, and related crafts in their historic, contemporary, and technical contexts. The Guild offers a diverse range of workshops, taught by experienced instructors and available to both members and the public; hosts speakers at monthly meetings; and provides mentorship for fibre artists at all stages of their learning. In this exhibition, Susi Reinink and Bethany Garner discuss fibre arts education, and Roberta McKinney, Rosie Hyde, Barbara Heins, Norma Rosier, Elaine Horemans, and Esther Grav discuss workshops and conferences.

Friendships Forged in Fibre


Beyond its mandate to educate its members and the public about weaving and spinning, KHWS has created a community for fibre enthusiasts. Through the Guild, many members have forged lifelong friendships that often extend beyond the fibre arts. Barbara Heins, Elaine Horemans, Nancy Carr, Ruth Macleod, Christine English, and Nancy Bowman discuss the integral social role of the Guild and the important friendships they have formed. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic disrupting usual operations, the Guild has adapted to keep its community safely connected. Elaine Horemans, Laurie Allan-Ungeitis, and Jackie Sylvester describe how the Guild came together.



Twenty members of the Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners were interviewed as part of the Threads of History project. They include current and past participants in the Guild, and range from members with sixty years of experience in the fibre arts to those just beginning their fibre journey. While all members, old and new, are linked through the threads of the Guild's past, they also have their own unique stories to share. Here, members discuss how they got involved in the fibre arts, some of their favourite memories from their time in the Guild, and what they would like to pass along to future generations of weavers and spinners.