Peggy Taylor, an Indiana shepherd, weaver, and spinner, spent her childhood raising sheep on her family farm. She first learned to weave in 1976 in New Harmony, Indiana, and later began studying historical coverlets and blankets as the textiles coordinator at Connor Prairie, an outdoor living history museum near Indianapolis.
In her business, Loom Hall Textiles, Taylor celebrates the tradition of colonial domestic fabrics in linen, cotton, and wool. She often spins wool yarn from the fleece of her own flock of Shetland sheep, which she hand dyes and weaves on four-harness barn-frame looms, including one built by her father. She weaves each coverlet, blanket, and fabric piece using historical patterns and quality materials and fibers, which she hand finishes. She marks each coverlet and blanket with her cross-stitched initials and the date.
Taylor not only honors the past but helps preserve it by teaching future generations about fiber arts. She has spent 25 years as an art educator in public and private schools, in addition to giving spinning and weaving lessons. She also volunteers as an interpreter at various museums and re-enactment events.
As she noted, “My ancestors, 500 years ago, were weavers, so it is only natural that I keep up this handcraft tradition. I consider it an honor to continue the work of weaving.”
Artists appearing in the 20201 Directory of Traditional American Crafts have been selected, and the best of their handiwork has been photographed at Cedar Grove, an 18th Century house museum operated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Look for the Directory in our August 2021 issue.
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