From fleece to yarn, and onto Nalbinding, making textiles with one big needle.
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 surviving fragment of prehistoric twill fabric in our museum's collection which came from the archaeological excavation of the ‘Oakbank Crannog’ house site, dated to 500BC in Loch Tay.
We offer a range of workshops in some of these skills and processes 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.
Then, learn how to do nalbinding, the 10,000-year-old precursor to knitting and crocheting; done with one big needle. This is an intricate technique made with loops on the thumb and creates a wonderful stretchy textile which has historically been used to make socks, mittens and other small items of clothing.
You'll be welcomed 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.
Course details: Price £80 (+fees)
Aimed at all levels, from beginners to seasoned spinners and weavers.
Arrive at 9.00am for this course in drop spinning and nalbinding. The course will end at 6pm.
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 our crannog textile artefacts.
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 a ball of yarn.
Take a break for lunch, cooked in our Iron Age kitchen, and take the opportunity to visit our reconstructed Crannog roundhouse.
Learn the technique of nalbinding, an ancient way to make stretchy garments, from 10,000 years ago. Use traditional tools and with this skill, create a nalbinded coaster or place mat.
During the course, you will be offered crannog cake and tea to keep you refreshed.
You will leave with your own drop spindle, a ball of your hand-spun wool and some fleece to practice on as well as your nalbinded creation and your own information booklet.
Please note, the booking cut-off for this workshop is 5pm the day before the workshop.
We reserve the right to cancel any workshops if there are not enough participants booked on to meet our minimum requirement or due to adverse weather conditions. In these cases, we are happy to help you re-book your course or process a refund.