News - Waulking the Cloth at the Celebration of Arts and Crafts

Once again the Huronia Handweavers participated in the Simcoe County Museum's Celebration of Arts and Crafts. This year, in addition to our display of handwoven scarves and weaving demonstration, we also enjoyed sharing the old Scottish tradition of Waulking the cloth. First, we wove a length of cloth using singles Shetland yarn in preparation for today's waulking, an old Scottish way to finish and full cloth in pre-washing machine days. Then, the cloth was fastened at the ends so that it was in a large donut shape. After being thoroughly wetted it was sent around the table from person to person as they beat it against the table with this rhythm: away, towards, away, pass". Traditional Gaelic waulking music was playing in the background to help keep us in time. We were joined by interested members of the public who helped us over the hour and a half it took to complete the waulking. Just as it must have been in the past, it was a fun, sociable time with lots of laughter!