Learning Index >> Thirteen Weavers

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From 1958 to 1964 Peter Collingwood and his wife Elizabeth lived and worked at Digswell House, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, the extensive premises of a newly founded community of artists. Here he acquired several new looms (including the heavy oak 'Polish' loom) for weaving rugs and innovative, open-structured wall-hangings which he named 'Anglefells' and 'Macrogauzes'; both types were of monochrome linen, incorporating steel rods. Also at Digswell, a special stainless steel dye vat was made to order and installed. For most of the period, and for the next two decades, Collingwood employed workshop assistants, one at a time.

Peter Collingwood has occupied his third and last workshop in Nayland, near Colchester, for almost 40 years. Since the mid-1960s he has worked there, using his favourite looms and also acquiring a 30-shaft dobby mechanism, erected on a Lervad, and a Harrisville loom with his own shaft-switching device. This technique was exploited for rugs and a second loom was adapted for it when his son Jason Collingwood joined the workshop on the 1980s. The weaving repertoire was extended in the 1970s by the addition of the sprang technique, in which large hangings were produced in thick jute, and tablet weaving for patterned linen braids or belts. Later, ply-splitting also became a special interest [date ?], resulting in cord bracelets and pots in linen or in stainless steel yarn from Japan.

Peter Collingwood is also a textile authority and the author of many articles and six important books: The Techniques of Rug Weaving (1968), The Techniques of Sprang (1974), The Techniques of Tablet Weaving (1972), Textile and Weaving Structures (1987), Rug Weaving Techniques: beyond the basics (1991), and The Techniques of Ply-split Braiding (1998).

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