Monday, August 10, 2015

A trip to textile heaven

Last week, because the weather was WAY too cold to justify getting into the lake, Pete and I finally got into Bancroft with enough time to visit the museum there.

And you know what museums are for, right?  They are for looking at textiles used by people in previous generations.  Well, the museum in Bancroft not only doesn't disappoint, it has more in the textile department than any other small museum I've visited!

There were so many textiles, in fact, that an elaborately knitted coverlet was displayed folded up inside a baby's cot.

Remember the lighthouse in Newfoundland where one of these was proudly displayed on a bed?  Yeah.  This room alone had a wall of white cotton dresses for children,

and later-vintage, more colourful dresses for children,

And this hugely cute young lady's dress from, what, the 1920s do you think?

Pretty sure those lace curtains were handmade, too.  Even the bed was covered in textiles.

Next door was the grownup's room, and it was more of the same.

I was particularly impressed by these two wedding dresses:

So, so gorgeous.  I don't know whether you can see those black gloves on the bed's pillow, but they remind me of the truly terrifying ladies' gloves in a display case on the main floor of the museum.  The entire width of those gloves would have been a tight squeeze over three-quarters of my own hand, and let's not even talk about the fingers, which may have been wide enough for a twig.  Leather shrinks over time I know, but honestly.  Women must have been a lot tinier a hundred years ago.

After this room, I went into one that is even more amazing.

Quilts, sewing machines, laundry tools, and a super cute train set I didn't photograph, sorry.  I love community museums like this, where the current residents from multi-generational local families donate their ancestors' everyday items.  There are so many washboards here, and it reinforces for me how essential they were for every home.

Speaking of washboards, check out this labour-saving device:

It sure isn't space saving, said the girl with the tiny house.  Let's take a closer look:

In case the print here is too small to read on your screen, I'll transcribe it here.

Washing Machine circa 1890 - 1900
It incorporated the principle of the old, old washboard - ridges were necessary to get clothes clean.  Note the ridges on the old wringer.  The top of this machine came down and the ridged cage was rocked to and fro. My grandmother insisted on one similar - then reverted back to the tub and board!

Gotta say: I'm finding the same stuff today with all the renovation.  A lot of what's hot right now on the reno market is pretty, till you start using it.  There's a reason some designs are timeless, people!

Okay, let's look more closely at these gorgeous quilts.

I found the piecing on the blue and white quilt to be especially striking.  Quilts: so cool.

This design is Kansas Star, if you didn't know it already (I didn't!)

What's your best museum find?

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