Lectures, Workshops, & Appearances

Appearances at Shows

You can find Peggy at the following shows:

Upcoming Lectures

Peggy is scheduled to speak to several weavers guilds and historical societies. Contact her for more information.

Bring Peggy to your Organization

Peggy is available to give the following presentations to your organization. Please contact Peggy Hart to schedule or to inquire about longer classes or workshops.

The New England Woolen Industry and the Crompton and Knowles Loom Works

An approximately 2-hour lecture at your organization's location.

New England was the birthplace of textile manufacturing because of its abundant resources in both water power and skilled immigrant mill workers. Whole cities were built around cotton mills in Lowell, Lawrence, and Manchester. Woolen mill technology developed later, and woolen mills became the backbone of life in hundreds of smaller towns. Unlike the cotton mills, woolen mills spun and wove fiber grown here, using machinery made here. Dozens of specialized businesses supported the industry, from reed makers to dyers and finishers.

The Crompton and Knowles Loom Works of Worcester, MA had the corner on loombuilding, outfitting mills from Connecticut to Canada. The W-3 loom was the workhorse of the industry. It had much more patterning capability than the standard cotton loom, with up to 32 harnesses and an easily programmable dobby head. Up until the last loom was manufactured in the 1950's, it was constantly being improved by independently patented innovations. Why and how did these marvelous machines get sold for scrap metal and the mills close all over New England?

The American Textile Industry 1940- 1990

An approximately 2-hour lecture at your organization's location.

Major changes were happening in how people lived, and these radically transformed the textile industry. Easy care fabrics, manmade fibers, and changes in fabric construction effectively eliminated the need for traditional methods of spinning and weaving.

The trade periodical, American Fabrics, charted developments through their advertisements and articles. American Fabrics was published from 1930 through 1980. It was a lavishly produced oversized, quarterly, with actual swatches of fabric pasted into it.

I will use images from the magazine, USDA consumer reports, and mill histories to tell the story of the American textile industry during this pivotal period.

Sheep to Shawl: Exploring white on white patterns

A Two Day/Weekend Workshop at your organization's location.

The class will explore the properties of different types of wool, and how they influence the choice of weave structures. For example, a fine Merino (which shrinks substantially more than other breeds) can be used in floats to make interesting surface relief. Other breeds are known for their luster, felting properties, etc.

The class will also sample lace weaves and other textural patterns. Students will design and weave a shawl using their own handspun wool.

Designing Blankets

Half Day Workshop at your organization's location.

In this workshop, weavers will consider materials and patterns, and plan a blanket. They will also prepare to weave a sample swatch to test the chosen yarn with the pattern. Wool yarns can both celebrate and confound even the best pattern.

I will bring blankets to share as well as samples swatches that didn’t make it into a blanket. I’ve lived in Ghana, and have been much influenced by West African strip weave. I will also share strip woven treasures, and talk about how to design a strip woven blanket if you don’t happen to own a 10 foot loom.

We will talk about finishing techniques and options

West African Strip Weave

Two hour presentation at your organization's location.

West African Strip Cloth Narrow fabric looms are used in many West African countries to weave strips, which are then sewn together lengthwise to make large rectangles. These are worn as wrappers by both men and women, or used as blankets. Alternating warp stripes, weft face sections, and elaborate weft brocade in the strips results in spectacular graphic block patterning when sewn together.

Peggy will discuss the history of West African strip cloth, and show images of both the weaving process and finished pieces. She will also bring examples from her collection of Ewe and Ashanti kente (Ghana), and Dogon and Fulani pieces(Mali).