The Weavers of Rabun

A few photos from my visit to the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, GA earlier this year. This was a weaving center back in the 30’s 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. It was named after its founder, Mary Hambidge, who was quite a woman. I’ll write more about her later. 

It now has a few artist’s studios, including a ceramics studio, but no weavers, alas. You can fix that, fellow weavers - check out the link below. The items pictured are in a showcase in the gallery shop. If you visit, you’ll also see old sample books and other fascinating items.

Back in their weaving days they (the Weavers of Rabun) had a store on Madison Avenue (NYC) called Rabun Studios, where they sold material woven in Rabun County to more affluent customers there. It operated for over 20 years. They also had a local store on Betty’s Creek

In 1945 they were commissioned to weave material for President Truman’s presidential yacht. 250 yards were woven in silk and cotton.

How do I know all of this? From a wonderful book titled Weavers of the Southern Highlands by Philis Alvic. The photos alone are worth searching out this book. There’s a pic on page 155 of a weaver standing under a warping board that is leaning against her house, a spool rack (creel) that must be 10 feet long braced with very large rocks, and a cow looking on. 

The book is also very insightful re pricing woven goods, something very relevant even today.



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