The Warmth of Handwoven Wool
There is no one more deserving of intentional giving than our mothers. We believe in giving with purpose and love and Mother’s Day is the perfect time to do so. Over the past few months we have been searching for a series of gifts that matter for mothers, which we will be sharing with you over the next few weeks--starting today. A good gift has intrinsic meaning and is made from beautiful materials that have history and value which is why, in these posts, we'll be sharing what makes these gifts so special.
While most mothers these days are not found sitting at the loom, there is something inherently motherly in textiles. My mind is flooded with snapshot images of my mother tucking the quilts around me as I went to sleep, wrapping a warm towel around me as I got out of the bathtub, or helping me bundle up in scarves and coats before sending me out to play in the snow with a kiss on the nose. There is something of motherly warmth in a blanket and Mother's Day is a wonderful moment to return the favor to our mothers.
In our searches around the world, we have come across what we believe to be a practically perfect throw blanket. Handwoven at Melin Tregwynt, a woolen mill in the hamlet of Tregwynt on the southwestern coast of Wales, these throws have been refined over generations of weavers and makers. Made of 100% wool, these stunning double-cloth weaves are filled with with love, warmth, and meaning. As two layers of fabric are woven at the same time, points of interchanging threads create a reversible pattern, binding the layers together in a way that presents detailed woven patterns. Each pattern has a history behind it. We have chosen three different patterns to bring in that we feel have powerful meanings.
The first is one of the most iconic Welsh patterns known as the Knot Garden. While this particular version of the Knot Garden was designed during the 1950’s by the Welsh rural industries board, it is a combination and variation of many 18th and 19th century patterns including the Lover’s Knot and the Welsh Chain. These patterns were meant to symbolize the intertwining of human relationships, kept strong through their bonds.
The next is a pattern named after the patron saint of Wales, St. David’s Cross. This pattern is not as complex in its execution as the Knot Garden, but is truly beautiful in simplicity. This pattern was inspired by the Shaker weaves of the 18th century. The Shakers left England to pursue religious freedom in America and were known for the pursuit of simplicity in the items they had in their home.
The last pattern, Patrwm Patagonia, is a more recent design, but with roots in the past. Pioneers from Wales traversed the Atlantic in 1815 to found a colony in Patagonia. To commemorate the bicentennial this design, inspired by Welsh doublecloth and native South American patterns, uses distinctive colors of the Patagonian landscape.
For our ancestors, weaving craft was commonplace. Crossing seas, they came from all over Europe, bringing rich traditions and their own hand woven coverlets. For those of us with British roots you might find that these particular quilts connect back to the land of your forefathers. (For those with Scandinavian roots, you might like this coverlet). Wrapped in the warmth of this blanket, I feel the arms of generations encircle me, like a memory of faraway places that are familiar to my soul. The arms that bring the most warmth and comfort, though, are still those of mother dear. So to celebrate all the warmth that mothers bring to our lives, perhaps this might be the right gift for your mother this year.
Shop all of our blankets, quilts, and throws.