Anne Blinks Textile Study Collection

Household Textiles


During the earlier years of Anne's weaving life, she wove a good deal of household textiles -- upholstery, drapes, bedspreads, table cloths, runners. She usually wore a handwoven brown skirt, woven of her handspun yarns from the fleece of her black sheep. This was "sheep to skirt". She must have had several of those skirts. Her furniture was upholstered with her or a friend's handwoven cloth. She wove the drapes for the windows in her living room. She wove the cloth for the pillows on the sofas. Her handwoven bedspread was on a bed. A true craftsman's home.

This section of the Collection is the largest by far. At present a little over half of the pieces are documented. The  undocumented pieces are twills and plain weave, where she played with color effects and fibers. The documented pieces fall into three groups: deflected-warp weave (including leno), compound or faced weaves, and interesting unrelated weaves picked by the Keeper of the Box.

In this group of household textiles, there is a particularly large amount of synthetic fiber yarns mixed with jute or linen, or other vegetal fiber yarns. These were woven over a fairly long period of time -- the 1950's and 60's. The typical color combinations were autumn colors, which were popular during the late 50's and through the 60's. In addition, many of the yarns are single ply, both warp and weft! Anne used sizing on her warps for these yarns, whether commercially spun or handspun. A few samples in other sections of the Collection still have the sizing in the yarns.

In the compound weave group, the document sheets frequently refer to that section in Irene Emery's book The Primary Structures of Fabrics. There is a story Anne told about an argument between Emery and Kate Peck Kent about twill structures. Kent stated that you could denote the structure from one side of a textile; so Emery instructed Anne to weave up a set of twill samples where you could not see the twill structure from the back side. We think these compound weave studies may be a result of that exercise.

Within this compound weave group is the end of a band from Formosa, Taiwan with the handwritten note "Tarjal(?) Tribe" attached to it. Using this scrap of cloth, Anne wove several pieces of this same structure that appear to be upholstery samples. It is a supplementary weft weave on a warp-faced ground.

But Anne didn't always get her ideas from other cultures or ancient cloth; she belonged to handweavers' guilds, always, and was active in their study projects. She belonged to a guild called Weavers Working Guild, which included weavers from S.F. Bay area south to Carmel. When in Washington, D.C. she joined a guild there and continued to be active after leaving the area. She belonged to the Contemporary Handweavers Guild of the S.F. Bay area, and of course the Santa Cruz Handweavers and the Carmel Crafts Guilds. She visited the Seattle Weavers Guild many times, participating in their projects as well. At this point we don't know how to connect the samples in the Collection to specific activities of these guilds, but we think there is a possibility of doing so through her papers and through stories from interested friends.

Detail of cloth with warp ribs of deflected-warp pattern

Detail of sample of bouclé loops, woven into a twill ground, linen

Front and back of "Formosa" sample, wool

Three study boxes were formed from the Household Textiles samples: (1) deflected-warp weaves, (2) compound weaves, and (3) Interesting weaves.

If you have any information or stories of Anne's early weaving years, please send them to us.

A project of the Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild

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