The Sound of Weaving

Mention the von Trapp name to most people and the first thing that probably comes to mind (well, after Julie Andrews twirling on a mountaintop) is music. "Edelweiss," "Do-Re-Me," and "My Favorite Things" are just a few of the songs from The Sound of Music, the movie based on the life of the von Trapp family, that have since become familiar standards. The name von Trapp is so intrinsically linked to music, the other artistic endeavors of the family are lesser well known.

While many of the children pursued other arts outside of singing, Werner (on whom the character Kurt in the film is based) worked with fiber. After the family moved to Vermont, Werner settled down, got married, and eventually started a dairy farm. Along with his cows, Werner also raised sheep, and during his retirement he enjoyed a life of spinning, weaving, and crocheting. He would shear the sheep, spin the wool into yarn, and then weave it into rugs of his own design. He also made colorful rag rugs with scraps of fabric.

Many of these items were given away as presents, and so far as we here at Weaving Today can tell, none are on display in museums or at the von Trapp lodge. (If anyone knows more about where some of Werner's rugs went, please let us know!) His skills were so admired by his family that his sister Agathe referred to him as "an expert craftsman" in her writings. 

So the next time The Sound of Music is on television as you watch Julie Andrews twirl, Christopher Plummer gently sing Edelweiss, and the rest of the cast sing and dance their way around Austria, you now know that the von Trapp family produced even more than music. 

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