Friday, 25 May 2012

Flippin' Books!

We're delighted to provide you with our latest online version of the George Weil catalogue. 

You can now browse through the pages of the catalogue at your leisure, and if you click on the corners of the pages they will turn, as though you are actually leafing through a paper book. 

mail order catalogue for craft suppliesThe search box in the top right hand corner means you can enter text and in moments the search results are displayed in the left hand column and clearly highlighted in yellow.  When you arrive at a section that interests you, there are links saying 'see on website' which link directly to the relevant section of the website

Lastly the zoom facility means no more squinting when you can't find your specs.  There is a magnifying glass in the bottom bar which zooms in closely and you can adjust this by using the - and + signs.  If you hover your cursor over the page and then hold your mouse button down, you can 'grab' the page and move it up and down so that you can read the contents of the page.

See the new online George Weil catalogue now >

Please let us know if you encounter any problems.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

...don't be slow

Our little team works hard to get your orders to you as soon as possible.

We aim to dispatch all orders received by 2pm on the same day we receive them, but this is not a guarantee.  The order needs to be picked, paperwork processed, payment details confirmed and the goods packed - and all before we hand your parcel over to the postman.

If your package is large and bulky or if it weighs more than 2.5kg, we ask our courier to deliver it to you.  Any other orders we send to our customers by 1st class Royal Mail.

We do generally succeed in getting your parcels to you within 24 hours although as hard as we try, some of these parcels do go astray.  We hand over your parcels to the delivery service in good faith and 1st class Royal Mail really does try to be 'what it says on the tin'. 

For those few parcels that remain lost in transit, we suggest you first contact your local sorting office as delivery may have been attempted and a card not left to advise you.  Unfortunately Royal Mail do not consider packages to be lost unless they have been missing for 15 working days from the due date of delivery, this is to allow time for items to be returned to the sender should there be any delivery problems.  This link to the Royal Mail website provides further information about Late or Lost Mail.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

We are often asked advice about the crafts advertised on our website, and whilst we have a good knowledge of most of the techniques, we cannot always claim to be experts.

The traditional crafts of weaving, spinning and dyeing are championed by The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  The objectives of this Association are 'the preservation and improvement of the craftsmanship in hand weaving, spinning and dyeing for the benefit of the public and the promotion of public education in such craftsmanship'.

The Association comprises of non commercial guilds located across the British Isles (see map), where members can follow the ethos of the Association.

Members of the Association who wish to further their skills and knowledge can study for a Certificate of Achievement. The certificate (find out more) is offered separately in the four disciplines of weaving, tapestry weaving, spinning and dyeing and assessment is conducted by those leading in the field. A diploma, Certificate in Advanced Textile Studies, can be achieved by candidates whose work has reached a standard of excellence and would normally follow the successful completion of the Certificate of Achievement.  It is awarded in acknowledgement of personal development and study in weaving, spinning or dyeing.

If you would like to find out more about the Association, their National Exhibition will be held from Monday 16th July through to the Sunday 27th July 2012 at the Weald and Downland Museum in Sussex, and exhibits will include Guild members work from across the Association.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Hand Spinning on a Spindle

Hand spindles are an economical alternative to a spinning wheel and can create a passion for spinning in their own right. With a small amount of practice, the twisting of the fibre can create a beautiful, hand spun yarn. As the spindle is so portable you can practice your handspinning very easily whenever you have a spare minute.

Tahkli Spindle
We offer a variety of spindles on the George Weil website, each offering the handspinner a different method of producing a yarn. The tiny Tahkli support spindle is used to spin short fibres, such as cotton, into a very fine yarn. This Tahkli has a brass shaft with a hook at the end and a hard maple pear-shaped whorl and weighs just 30g.

Low Whorl Spindle
With the Low Whorl spindle (also known as the Drop Spindle) the whorl sits near the bottom of the shaft and the spun yarn is wound around the shaft. The whorl on the High Whorl spindle (also known as Top Whorl Spindle) is attached to the top of the shaft and has a hook screwed into it which is used to secure the developing yarn. The yarn is then wound around the shaft.

High Whorl Spindle
The High or Low Whorl spindle can be used to spin most fibres and the thickness of the yarn will be determined by the weight of the spindle, the amount of twist and the feed of the fibre. Our Low Whorl spindle weighs 70g and produces a medium to thick yarn, while the High Whorl spindle, which spins slightly faster, weighs just 60g and produces a fine to medium yarn.

Turkish Drop Spindle
The 60g Turkish drop spindle is a fun and practical way to make a perfect ball of handspun yarn. As you spin, wind the spun yarn around the crossbars until you have a full ball and then simply slide away the crossbars to leave the ball of yarn intact.

Possibly the most fascinating of them all is the Navajo spindle which is traditionally used by Navajo and Pueblo indians. This spindle has been designed so that the spinner can sit and the bottom part of the shaft rests on the floor while the top is spun along the length of the thigh to create the twist in the fibre. This Navajo spindle has a 12cm diameter whorl and a 76cm long shaft.

Schacht Navajo Spindle

To learn more about hand spinning, there are a number of books on the website which provide step-by-step instruction and the Fibrecrafts Hand Spinning Explorer Pack provides a spindle, fibre and instruction to get you started.

The website for The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers provides links to information about local guilds, their Summer School, exhibitions and more.