Textile Weekend at OSV Aug. 16-17, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Free Kids Admission at OSV in August;
Textile Weekend Highlights 19th-Century Needlework Aug. 16-17

Historians at Old Sturbridge Village will celebrate 19th-century needlework and ornamental arts of the as part of a special “Textile Weekend” August 16-17. Kids age 17 and under get free daytime admission to the museum through September 1 when accompanied by an adult paying full price. Activities throughout Textile Weekend will focus on a variety of historical sewing and textile techniques: weaving, embroidering, knitting, netting, yarn sewing, and crocheting, which was a new fashion in needlework in the 1830s. Visitors can try their hands at textile crafts and help to knit and crochet scarves for American soldiers. Details: 800-SEE-1830; www.osv.org.

In the early 1800s, clothes were an investment, and mending was an art.  Taking advantage of daylight, women and girls often spent their afternoons sewing and doing needlework. Children were taught to knit at an early age – it kept them busy, taught fine motor skills, and provided useful items of clothing. Knitting was often done in the evening when it was took dark to be able to sew.

Although early 19th-century country stores were beginning to offer more textiles for sale, many women still made the majority of clothing and textiles needed by their families.

“It’s hard for people today to fathom just how much time a woman spent with needle in hand in the 19th century,” notes Jean Contino, Old Sturbridge Village coordinator of households, horticulture and women’s crafts. “Sewing clothing and bedding for the family was a necessary, but endless task, and girls began learning sampler stitches as young as age 4.  Today we marvel at the intricacy, beauty and artistry of their work.”

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country.  The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week.  OSV offers free parking and a free return visit within 10 days. Admission: $24; seniors $22; children 17 under, free through September 1, 2014. For information: www.osv.org or call 800-733-1830.

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