A Textile craft Co-Operative in Oamaru.
After two years of planning and discussion "The Oamaru Textile Exchange" was finally created. The word exchange was chosen as part of our title as the late 1800's building is known as the Sumpter Exchange after the founder of the local spinning mill here in Oamaru. Our wool connections are even more tangible than this, as in the building behind us is a current wool store piled with raw wool bales. So we experience parfum de sheep every day. Our small textile craft co-operative is housed downstairs whilst upstairs lives several old hattersley looms.
This is our street scape, a line of victorian whitestone buildings, restored or undergoing restoration. We officially opened in October 2007 and were up and running in time for the yearly victorian celebrations in November.
the textile Exchange houses a retail area and workshop space so we artisans can work at our various crafts in public view. This is a popular tourist area attracting mostly overseas visitors.
Not a very good interior shot, will do some more later to add to this blog. On site at various times of the day or week are people wearing and making victorian clothes on fully functioning old sewing machines, spinners, knitters and weavers. We also sell hand embroidery, yarns, handspinning fibre, clothing, hats, scarves, patchwork etc.
Photos of the working Hattersley loom owned by the Mcleans. Originally used on the west Coast of NZ by a commercial weaver, followed by Lawrence and finally housed upstairs here in Oamaru. Built in Yorkshire, they are historic looms associated with the scottish cottage tweed industry.