Fragments of War

In the autumn, one of the groups I belong to, South West Textile Group, is having an exhibition in the Museum of Somerset. The theme is Imprints and we have to base our work on an object in the museum. In the Military section, there is an old flag from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. It is a Japanese flag with the red sun in the centre and Japanese text radiating from the central red circle.  Using that as inspiration, I have printed Japanese text which says “fragments of war” using a thermofax and screen printed red circles on white fabric. I then dyed several batches of 2 metres of fabric in red, completely failing to match the red of the circles.  Eventually, I gave up and went to my local quilting ship and purchased a matching commercial fabric – all rules broken!! But it does work.  Here is an image of the top – sandwiching and quilting still to happen.

Fragments of War WIP

Thanks, Amelia of Thermofax Printing for making my thermofax screen.

Queens Street Mill

Last month, whilst on the boat, we visited the only working steam mill in the England which is in Burnley. It was an amazing museum.  We saw the old steam engine which used to run 1000 looms in three different rooms. It is in beautiful condition, lovingly look after.

First, the wonderful clocking in machine.

Clocking In Machine

Now the steam machine which is called Peace and the oil cans which keep it gleaming.

Peace Oil cans on Peace Oil can on Peace Gleaming Peace

In one of the rooms are 300 looms. The steam engine runs the cams above them all, but only about 10 looms are engaged – what a noise!! These looms make calico which the museum sells.

Weaving Shed Working Loom

In another room are some smaller specialised looms which make Terry Towelling and tea cloths, again sold in the museum.

Making Terry Towelling Tea towels

And then Jacquards solution and some of the mill’s original cards – very early computers.

Jacquards Solution Early Computers

If you are in the area, take time to visit the museum – it is a privilege to see one of the many mills which in the early 20th century produced over 90% of the world’s cotton fabric.