Workshop Pitt Rivers Museum 22nd & 23rd September 2018 Sámi Band Weaving

Sámi Band Weaving Workshop (2 days)

Saturday 22nd September - Sunday 23rd  September, 2018

10.00 - 16.30
Pitt Rivers Museum

£185 (Includes tuition, materials, behind the scenes tour & lunches)

This Sámi bandweaving workshop at the Pitt Rivers Museum is an opportunity for beginners to try a new craft or for more experienced weavers to extend their skills. Students will learn how to weave patterned bands using a double slotted heddle and backstrap. The heddle, shuttle, and yarns are supplied as part of the workshop and will be ready warped so that weaving can start straight away.

For details on how to apply for the workshop go to the Pitt Rivers Museum web page at

The double slotted heddle has special slots for up to 9 pattern threads. This versatile heddle enables patterned band weaving to be easier to learn and quicker to do.  It can be used for 5 and 7 pattern threads.

Participants will receive:

  • a ready warped 9 pattern slot heddle and curved shuttle. 
  • two booklets with instructions and band patterns
  • handouts
  • handwoven bookmark
  • backstrap

The patterns that are to be worked on are based on the band weaving artefacts in the Museum including shoe ties, headbands, and belts, some of which will be examined at the exclusive tour of the Conservation lab. I will be bringing my own small collection of original Sámi woven bands and examples of bands that I have copied.

Students will take home a piece of patterned weaving mounted in a key ring fob and a woven bookmark. They will also have acquired the skills to weave at home and have two booklets of patterns to produce a range of small items. Weaving with a heddle and backstrap is an easily portable skill and all equipment will fit into a shoe box - no bulky looms!

The Pitt Rivers Museum.

If you are not familiar with the Pitt Rivers Museum do take a look at their YouTube video.

Inside the Pitt Rivers Museum              

The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW.

Pitt Rivers Museum
Parks Road,
Oxford, OX1 3PW.

About me

My name is Susan J Foulkes. I am a designer/weaver who lives in Durham City. I love to use natural yarns in my work. I have been researching the beautiful woven folk bands from the Baltic region for a number of years. These intricate designs are proving very inspirational. Visiting museums, meeting curators and examining collections behind the scenes is a privilege and I never know what I am going to find next.

After visiting Sweden to examine the wealth of woven treasures in various museums, I became particularly interested in Sámi weaving. The Sámi people are the indigenous people who live in northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. I have analysed many of their beautiful bands to enable them to be appreciated by a wider audience.  I have written and self-published a book, Sámi Band Weaving in 2011 with Blurb.

My latest book will be published by Schiffer in September 2018. Order from Amazon or The Book Depository.

I have given several online workshops about patterned band weaving with the Braid Society.

I have written two articles about Sámi band weaving:

Strands is the annual Journal published by The Braid Society.

Foulkes S J (2011) The Sámi Weaving TraditionStrands – The Journal of the Braid Society , issue 18, pages 13 - 18

Handwoven magazine is published by Interweave Press.

Foulkes, S J (2013) The Sámi People and their Weaving, Handwoven, March/April, Vol 164, No 2 pages 36 – 40

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