A history of knitting from the Tudor period onwards

Sunday 13 September 2020


The course

A brief practical history of knitting in Britain, looking at the products, techniques, and social history of knitting and knitters from the 16th to the 20th century. We shall be learning to ‘knit in the round’ and to use a knitting sheath, and trying out a number of different techniques. Pictures, samples and items from the Knitting and Crochet Guild Collection illustrate the wealth of resources. This is a course that we hope will inspire you to have the confidence to raid the past in your future knitting projects. Some previous knitting experience would be helpful on this course, but is not essential.

The tutor

Ruth Gilbert is a hand weaver and textile historian. She studied textile history at the Textile Conservation Centre, awarded an MPhil for her thesis on the construction of early knitted garments in 2010. Ruth has been the weaver at Kentwell Hall’s Tudor events for twenty years and actively encourages appropriate textile techniques among historical re-enactors. Her publications include ‘A Knitted Cotton Jacket in the Collection of the Knitting and Crochet Guild of Great Britain’, in Textile History 43 (1), 90-106 and the entry on ‘Knitting and related non-woven structures’ in Encyclopaedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles c. 450-1450, 1220, Leiden: Brill.

Participant information

You do not need to bring anything, but if you have a project you would like to share or a historical item of interest please bring them.

Fee and refreshments

£70 per person, to include tuition, teas and coffees. Please let the museum know in advance if you have any dietary requirements. The Museum café will be open or you can bring a packed lunch.