Workshops can be booked through our Fareharbor system, available on our homepage
Create handmade yarn on an ancient spinning device.
Making cloth and fabrics in the ancient past was a work of such skill, technology, time, care and many different processes that it is one of the most fascinating crafts of Scottish prehistory. We are lucky enough to look after a unique fragment of prehistoric twill fabric in our museum's collection which survived from the archaeological excavation of the ‘Oakbank Crannog’ house site, dated to 500BC in Loch Tay.
We offer a range of workshops in the skills that would have produced fabrics and garments in prehistory, built up from the skills our Interpreters have honed, researched and developed over many years. A humble piece of thread is arguably amongst the most innovative developments in the human story.
Come and learn to make your own drop spindle, a type of traditional spinning implement, and create a ball of handspun yarn. Learn a method or two to create a piece of textile, such as the 10,000-year-old precursor to knitting and crocheting, nalbinding, a craft done with one big needle. Or perhaps you’d like to help us weave our community piece of reconstructed Oakbank Crannog twill on an experimental archaeological two-beam loom. Some others amongst you might be drawn to the vibrance and magic of colour: discover the world of natural dyes and the surprising materials and techniques used. We assure you you’ll be welcome and looked after, complete with a hearty, traditional lunch cooked in our Iron Age kitchen, and plenty of refreshments. We hope to share with you and a community of likeminded enthusiasts a passion for ancient textiles in our unique lochside setting surrounded by hills, as we sit and tell stories around the crackling fire.
Aimed at all levels, from beginners to seasoned spinners and weavers.
Arrive at 9.30am for this course on drop spinning hand-spun thread, for a 10am start. The course will end at 2pm.
On arrival you’ll be welcomed with a hot drink and an opportunity to explore the site, as well as meet your fellow participants and course leaders.
Visit our the museum to see the Crannog textile and ancient drop spindles.
Then, in the workshop area, start to make your own drop spindle using traditional methods and tools.
Learn how to wash wool using a charcoal wash, then card your wool and learn how to drop spin.
During the course, you will be offered crannog cake and tea, and an opportunity to visit our reconstructed Crannog roundhouse.
You will head home with your own drop spindle, a ball of your hand-spun wool, some fleece to keep practicing your spinning and an information booklet.