As part of the Silver Thread research 2 sewing volunteers Beth Porter and Yvonne Thomas visited the Museum Stores to look at local historic embroidery and sewing.
The museum has samplers which were made by young girls dating back to 1737 with many more from 18th and 19th century. Diane Dangerfield from St Matthews Craft Group is following that tradition by sewing her own sampler.
There was also a tradition of embroidery on banners by women in Co operative Guilds. Pictured below are women from the Bloxwich Women’s Co operative Guild with their Banner sewn by June Holmes and a Walsall Women’s Co-operative guild banner held by the Museum Collection dated 1925. Other banners are sewn for Churches, the Silver Thread sewing volunteers were shown a banner from St Pauls the Crossing made by their Sunday school from 1990’s.
Other nostalgic sewing was shown including embroidered blouses dated from 1939, a tapestry, sewing magazines and a curious pair of Japanese lotus shoes. Silver Thread project organisers plan to showcase sewing nostalgia at a future event. The next event for Silver Thread will be the Sewing Launch day at Walsall Leather Museum on Saturday May 21st 10 – 3pm when the tapestry designs will be on display for the first time and visitors will be invited to sew the first stitches on. All the sewing groups will be invited to show their sewing and other crafts as a celebration of the skills of the women in the Borough.
If you are interested in getting involved in the sewing which will start in May, or you can get updates on the Silver Thread project by checking out the website www.creativewalsall.com or facebook page Walsall Silver Thread or by contacting the team on 01922 653114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.