New Hampshire Weavers Guild
2019 NHWG Challenge:
The Ripley Student Notebook


When recently looking through the Guild archives, a treasure was found—the student notebook of F. Fuller Ripley, husband of former Guild president Betty Ripley. Fuller Ripley did a post graduate year after Dartmouth at The Lowell Institute (1934) with a focus on "reworked fibers." That was a useful study as the family's Troy Mills was focused on "shoddy" (using rags to make new fiber/cloth) at that time. The pages that the Guild has consist of tie ups for 4­ to 24 ­shafts. Each is 10 inches by 14 inches of heavy paper with an embossed seal and a grade. Apparently one­ year students did not get the bound workbook that four year students had to complete (several of which were at the American Textile History Museum and are probably now at Cormell University). 


The plan for the Guild show at NEWS is to weave from these drafts. One suggestion is that your fabric be used to make a portfolio for the pages as that is how the originals are contained. However, that is only one suggestion and the fall Guild sample, a 24-­shaft one, members can see the sample at: Ripley Sample ) is intended to be towels. Suggestions of how to read the drafts and what you can do with them accompany the sample and draft and are for 8-­shafts. 


At the Weavers Helping Weavers in October 2018, Marjie Thompson took the group through ways to read the drafts and translate them into 4 and 8-shaft weaves. The designs that resulted came from  playing on the computer with weaving design software.  See below for draft.  We took a modification of the drawdown of a 16 shaft “Entwining Twill” (same page as the fall guild sample) and played with different threadings and treadling orders. There are  nine different designs in this “gamp.” Warp-wise the different designs are separated by a dark line without threads and weft-wise are separated by a white line  without threads. The best use for these designs would be to use 5/2 cotton or larger threads because of the smaller scale of this design.  Playing with this or other of the Ripley drafts will lead you to many inspiring designs.


Once again, we hope to have a unique and stunning display at NEWS. After all, what other guild has a weaving manuscript in their archives?