Preservation is one of the key aims of the Knitting & Crochet Guild. The history of our crafts can only be maintained if we preserve what has been created in the past; the objects themselves as well as the methods and techniques used to create them. Our Collection provides inspiration for future projects, whether we are seeking to recreate an item from the past using modern yarns or find new ways of using forgotten techniques.
Although the Guild was formed in 1978 it was not until 1990 that it's collections were started. In recent years, the Guild has collected material relating to domestic knitting and crochet in the UK. Work is ongoing to review and catalogue the material so that we can rationalise our holdings and make the collections more widely to members and others in the knitting and crochet community.
Briefly, the collections consist of
- knitted and crocheted items;
- tools and accessories;
- yarns and shade cards;
- publications (books, magazines and pattern leaflets & booklets).
Some items date from before 1900, although the majority is post-1945. It is probably the largest collection of domestically-produced knitted and crocheted textiles and related material in the UK.
Knitted and crocheted items
There are about 2000 of these, hand knitted, domestic machine knitted or crocheted, some combining these techniques. There are garments of all sorts (men's, women's and children's), household items and decorative pieces. Materials include wool, for many of the knitted pieces, and cotton for much of the crochet. In age, the collection ranges from pre-Victorian to late twentieth century. It varies from museum-quality pieces to pieces representative of 'everyday' domestic production typical of the mid twentieth century. There are samples of regional patterns such as Shetland and Aran and 'designer' pieces from the 1980s when knitwear was high fashion.