Exploring historic textiles in our local museums

I enjoy reading about and researching historic textiles. For me, these vintage textiles provide a invaluable, tangible link to our past.  And as I work at reproducing old knitting patterns and recreating vintage knitted items, I find that the local museums hold a wealth of reference material in their textile collections, providing wonderful period pieces to help with pattern identification and reproduction.

Recently I enjoyed the privilege of seeing (virtually, of course) textile items from the collection of the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre. I saw many wonderful, beautiful items, some knit, others crocheted, some embroidered, others sewn and so on. From knitted coverlets and clothing, cross stitch samplers, to crochet bedspreads and hair receivers — yes, hair receivers — to beaded purses and to knitting tools, the collection is extensive and varied.

The Grey-Bruce Boomers have included my article, A Link to Our Past – Exploring Historic Textiles in our Local Museums in their Winter 2020-2021 edition. The article features a number of the lovely textile items from the Bruce County Museum.

My personal favourites are always the ‘counterpanes’, the knitted and crocheted white bed coverlets and blankets that were once so popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Have a look through the images accompanying the article.

If you’d like to have a read, please click here! The story is on page 22. Visit www.greybruceboomers.com to read the magazines in its entirety and sign up to receive updates when new issues are available.

Whether you’re a needle worker or not, there’s much to see and enjoy in the textile collection of the Bruce County Museum. There are such interesting stories connected to many of the items; it’s a truly fascinating experience. If you  would like to know more about the Bruce County Museum and its textile collection, visit www.brucemuseum.ca or call Laura Leonard at (519) 797-2080, or email museum@brucecounty.on.ca. The museum is located at 33 Victoria St. N., Southampton. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual visits are a necessity at this time. Please go to https://brucemuseum.pastperfectonline.com/ to have a look through their online collection.

Grey-Bruce Boomers

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