1950s Caernafon 'Tapestry' Bedcover
None - good condition
With its recognizable 'Caernafon' reversible design, a slightly different design on both side - this Welsh 'tapestry' bedspread is typical of many to have been woven at Trefriw Woollen Mills or possibly by Jacob Jones at Blaenau Ffestiniog.
The choice of colourings is both classic and contemporary with a timeless geometric pattern. The designs are very clear because two cloths are woven on top of each other and the figuring is created when the bottom cloth is brought to the surface of the fabric. This double weave is also produced in patterns with smaller repeats which are used for throws, cushions, waistcoats, dinner sets and purses.
The yarn for the tweed is made by blending, carding and spinning various colours of dyed raw wool to get a heathery effect.
The woven bedspread is an important example of the range of Welsh crafts and techniques associated with rural agricultural societies that are still surviving today, and have undergone somewhat of a recent revival.
Woollen weaving in Wales goes back nearly two thousand years. In fact, until the mid 19th Century it was one of the country's major industries. After shearing on the hill-farm, the fleeces were washed and spun into yarn, then woven into blankets and cloth. Natural dyes coloured the textiles and spinning wheels made by local crafts workers were used in most of the village cottages.
Among the most popular textiles produced today is tapestry cloth - made in the traditional double cloth weight and the lighter single weave
Welsh weaving is still going strong, with companies like Melin Tregwyn, that has a world wide client base including Margaret Howell, Comme des Garcons, Mulberry, Birkenstock, Sanderson, Designers Guild, SCP, Descamps and Martha Stewart Living, who have all commissioned exclusive ranges.
Report on a survey of the Welsh Textile Industry by William P. Crankshaw (Cardiff, 1927)
Rural Industries Bureau Survey of Welsh Mills (unpublished, 1947)