How weaving is helping vulnerable people add a new string to their bow

Visitors to Dundee’s V&A can try their hand at one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world.

People are being invited to learn the art of weaving as part of a charity’s project to reduce isolation and support trauma survivors.

Coorie Creative are giving visitors to Dundee’s V&A the opportunity to learn the craft as it takes up an eight-week residency at Scotland’s design museum.

Weaving has helped Joan Thomson and Christopher Moxley ever since they joined the Stirling-based charity.

Joan was born with a vision impairment and Chris felt isolated during the Covid lockdowns.

For them, using a loom has helped add a new string to their bow.

Joan told STV News: “The first thing I did was a total mess, but it was enough to hook me onto what I wanted to do, and I’ve been coming in every week ever since.

“I keep being told everything comes out in the wash and it’s true.

“When you’re making something and it then has to go get water treatment, a lot of the errors go, so no, it’s not as hard as people think.”

Christopher said: “I’ve never, ever done anything like weaving, knitting, crocheting.

“My mum tried; my granny tried but I loved it.

“It’s more therapeutic for yourself, it keeps you thinking, it doesn’t make you think about the bad stuff or any of your troubles. You’re just thinking forward, forward, forward kind of thing.”

As part of the V&A museum’s programme of free summer activities, Coorie Creative will be the first to hold a residency at the attraction, allowing visitors to try their own hand at one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world.

The charity’s founder, Mairi Breslin said: “It’s a really good way for people to explore their creative side, to be part of a therapeutic, creative community and just have a go.

“Tartan weaving is quite simple, after all we’ve been doing it for hundreds of years, so that’s what we plan to offer to the people in and around Dundee.

“We tend to use non-traditional materials. I’m a big fan of Japanese types like sakiori and zanshi where we use recycled cloth, recycled thread and we weave it in to make something that’s brand new from something that’s very old.”

The workshops draw inspiration from the museum’s tartan exhibition with the looms open to the public until August 13.

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