Waulking, or luadh ("loo-ugh") in Gaelic, is the time-honored process of hand finishing woolen cloth in the traditional way. In the Scottish Gaidhealtachd, most especially in the Hebrides, this method survived into the 20th century, and consists of getting a group of people around a large table to thump, rub, and pass the newly woven wetted cloth while singing traditional Orain Luadh (rhythmic gaelic waulking songs). This is still one of the most effective (and fun!) ways to wet-finish hand woven woolens, and has always served the very practical purpose of making the resulting cloth tight, strong, and weather-proof.
This waulking will be led by artist Anne Carroll Gilmour, who began learning about these traditional songs and methods as a child at her grandfather's knee, and with Scottish Master weaver & tradition bearer Norman Kennedy. The weft yarn for the cloth being waulked in this workshop was homegrown and handspun from Anne's flock of Romney/Corriedale cross sheep, and the cloth was woven by Anne at her home in Ridgefield, WA. No need to know Gaelic to participate in the workshop - this is a fun class open to anyone willing to get their hands wet and attempt simple choruses in a foreign language. However, participating students must not be allergic to wool. Come Tae th' Waulking!
Appropriate for all skill levels. Ages 12 and older are welcome!
Classes take place at Arbutus Folk School, 610 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA. Please enter through the door in the alley behind the building.
This folk & traditional arts workshop is supported in part with funding from Northwest Heritage Resources, a Washington state cultural non-profit organization. Thank you!