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Welcome To The Cape Guild of Weavers

FOR WEAVING, SPINNING, DYEING, FELTING, KNITTING AND CROCHET ENTHUSIASTS

The Cape Guild of Weavers is South Africa’s oldest guild – founded 24 June 1950.  Our aim is to encourage and promote the enduring and very satisfying crafts of weaving, spinning, knitting, felting and dyeing through the enthusiastic participation of our members. And in sharing a common interest, we break down communication barriers between generations, sexes and differing cultures.

Guild Membership

Membership is open to everyone; the annual subscription is R200.00 Country members pay R150.00 p.a. Members receive a monthly newsletter informing them about forthcoming meetings and matters relevant to fibre craft in and outside the Guild.

Please Contact Us for any enquiries or with contributions to our Newsletter.

Our Library

We have a comprehensive and valuable library, housed at the South African Centre for the Netherlands and Flanders – (SASNEV) in Pinelands. It is open during our monthly meetings. We subscribe to overseas textile journals and receive news from other guilds in the country as well as from overseas.

You can browse the digital catalogue of our library here

The Guild Exhibition

Every alternate year the Guild holds an exhibition of members’ work, a prestigious event with high-quality craft for show and for sale. There are demonstrations of weaving, spinning and other related crafts during these exhibitions.

Our 70th anniversary exhibition has been post-phoned due to COVID-19. We are planning to bring it to you in August 2021. Please get in touch for further information & updates or for submissions to the exhibition

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT of the GUILD

The Guild was formed on 24 June 1950 with ElsabĂ© Sauer as its first president. Understandably those early days had their challenges. There were only two weaving teachers in the Cape, Germaine Rouillard and Ans Blok. Looms and other equipment were unavailable. But in the early ’50s thanks to a generous loan by the S.A. Wool Board of 2500 pounds (what wouldn’t that be worth today?), orders could be placed with a local furniture manufacturer to build looms.

These could be bought by members of the guild either for cash or on easy terms. The price of a loom in those days ranged from just over 23 pounds to a whopping 55 pounds.

The Cape guild has continued to thrive and to promote not only the ancient and rewarding art of weaving but also spinning, knitting and feltmaking as well as other forms of textile crafts. Its membership is – and always has been – open to all. And at exhibitions, festivals and gatherings its members are often to be seen, a focus of public interest and fascination, as they demonstrate their various skills.

Barbara Schotel

(from the 50th Anniversary publication “Reaching Gold – 50”  Cape Guild of Weavers 24 June 1950 – 24 June 2000)

Please visit The Guild Photo Gallery to view images from our previous activities, fashion shows & competitions. o