FASCINATION WITH FIBER Michigan's Handweaving Heritage

FASCINATION WITH FIBER Michigan's Handweaving Heritage

Fascination with Fiber is the first complete look at Michigan's rich tradition of handweaving, from pioneer log cabin days to the contemporary era of digital computer-aided looms.

Michigan has been at the center of handweaving and fiber arts and crafts since early settlers brought their skills with them from countries where handicrafts and weaving were traditionally strong. The textiles they produced in their new country, from linens to coverlets to rugs, took on a distinctly American expression. In the twentieth century, the formation of guilds, craft communities, and formal art programs created a revival of interest in handweaving as an opportunity for artistic expression so that by latter part of the century the state played a vital role in the national fiber movement.

Weavers and historians themselves, authors Marie A. Gile and Marion T. Marzolf focus on the people and forces that have kept the craft of handweaving alive in Michigan and indeed throughout the country for over two centuries: a passionate group of individuals and weaving communities enlivened through shared necessity, opportunity, and creativity.

Gile and Marzolf base their book on oral histories, interviews, and documentary and artifact research. With its tales of colorful characters such as Mary Atwater, the gun-toting weaver from Montana who helped organize the handweaving industry; to the formation of the Michigan League of Handweavers in 1959; and the "Fascination with Fiber" exhibit that opened in 2004; Fascination with Fiber brings the story of handweaving in Michigan to life like no other book.

Softcover 184 pages

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