Inside Vavstuga Weaving School
No matter how many book you read or videos you watch, nothing beats taking a real-live weaving class with an expert teacher, except perhaps being able to immerse yourself fully in weaving for days on end. Our friends at Vavstuga Weaving School offer a number of immersive Swedish weaving classes, run a weaving shop full of Swedish yarn and other goodies that you can visit in person or online. The following sponsored post gives you an inside look at what this unique school has to offer. —Christina
Vävstuga Weaving School offers an unforgettable experience for hand weaving enthusiasts
In Sweden, the name Vävstuga (“väv”, Swedish for weave and “stuga”, meaning cottage) is given to the community weaving centers that are prevalent throughout the country.
While the practice of hand weaving was largely lost in the United States during the industrial revolution, Sweden made a concerted effort to preserve centuries-old hand weaving techniques by creating schools where master weavers have handed down the tradition through generations.
Today, “vävstugas” are common in many Swedish communities as a gathering place for weavers of all levels to come together and practice their craft. And teaching weaving as a communal experience is exactly what Becky Ashenden strives to do at the Vävstuga Weaving School in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.
Set in a quaint, historic village, the 18th century building overlooks the peaceful Deerfield River. The Vävstuga Weaving School provides an idyllic setting for beginning to experienced weavers to gather, learn new skills, and practice their craft.
An Immersive Experience in Swedish Hand Weaving
Students at the Vävstuga Weaving School enjoy a truly immersive experience. While the first floor of this historic building hosts Vävstuga’s store and classrooms, the second floor offers lodging for up to six students at a time to relax and socialize after class, surrounded by beautiful hand wovens. Students are also treated to delicious meals, complete with hand woven place settings, in a tranquil setting overlooking the river.
An experienced production weaver, trained at Sweden’s renowned Sätergläntan Hemslöjdens Gård, Becky has been teaching weaving at Vävstuga since 1993.
Vävstuga Weaving School offers classes for students of all levels in three- or five-day sessions, with additional flex-schedule classes available throughout the year.
Each class is structured to maximize the benefits of both group and individual instruction. Becky emphasizes Swedish weaving techniques, while creating a fun, welcoming classroom experience for her students.
“I find myself lucky to have learned from this unbroken tradition of hand weaving that has been handed down for centuries in Sweden. I sense, over my years of teaching, that I have something to offer that’s not so common here in the United States,” said Becky. “Experienced weavers come to my classes sometimes skeptical that they will learn anything new, and they still tell me that they learn so much.”
An Inspiring and Unique Way to Buy Your Weaving Products Online
For weavers in search of high quality yarns, fabrics and equipment, Vävstuga also offers a wide array of products through their online store.
“Swedish yarns are the best quality weaving yarns that I know of,” said Becky. “We offer a beautiful array of fine-quality linen, cotton and wool in a variety of color palettes.”
One of the new products Becky is excited to have recently added to her store is the affordable, compact, and beautifully made Öxabäck Lilla loom.
Also unique to Vävstuga’s online store is the Yarn Playground, Becky's own invention, which allows customers to shop for yarns as if they were pulling them off the shelf and playing with them on the counter until they find just the right combination of colors for their project.
Want to Visit Vävstuga?
Whether you are a beginning or experienced weaver, you will certainly find something to love at the Vävstuga Weaving School. Start by visiting the online shop, where Becky offers a wealth of information and inspiration on topics students frequently search for, such as “How to choose a shuttle.” In addition, weavers will find some of Becky's generous teaching tips in her online videos.
Vävstuga would like to announce a NEW Holiday Contest!
See details on the Vävstuga Facebook Page. (Contest ends 12/19/2014)
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When you’re ready to visit Shelburne Falls for your first class, Becky will be there to welcome you into the fold as the newest member of her weaving community. If you have a passion for weaving, a visit to Vävstuga promises to be an experience you won’t soon forget.