The Umpqua Weavers and Spinners Guild sponsors a number of activities in Roseburg and surrounding Douglas county to promote handspinning and handweaving. Our goal is to educate the public as well as to increase the knowledge of our members. The Umpqua Weavers and Spinners Guild started in the 1940s when members met informally in each others homes to share their love and enthusiasm for spinning and weaving. In 1974 the group participated in the first Umpqua Valley Arts Festival where members demonstrated spinning while seated in a field of sheep. This marked the movement of the group into a more formal Guild which has continued to the present.
Guild membership is open to anyone interested in the fiber arts. Membership fees are $20/ per year. The Guild’s calendar year begins in September when fees are due. The Guild maintains an extensive library collection and has an assortment of looms, wheels and other equipment available for members’ use. The Guild also stocks a yarn sales area with fiber available to members at cost. Booth spaces at the Umpqua Valley Arts Summer Festival and the Douglas County Christmas Fair are rented for members to sell their handwoven and handspun items. Guild Sales Guidelines apply and are available on request. In addition Guild members are automatically members of WeGO ( The Weaving Guilds of Oregon) and ANWG ( Association of Northwest Weaving Guilds).
Our members come from the southern area of Oregon, with 23 members. Our meeting is the fourth Friday of the month Sept through July, except Dec. and June, which is the third Friday of the month at the Umpqua Valley Arts Center, Roseburg, The Umpqua Valley Arts Association provide a forum for sharing projects, problems and ideas. The Guild frequently sponsors workshops and lectures by nationally known weavers and spinners. A demonstration of spinning and weaving is provided each year at the County Fair in August and for one day at the State Fair in Salem. Wheels and looms are made available for the public to use at these events. The Guild entertains requests to demonstrate at other community activities – Pioneer Days ( Canyonville), Arts Festival, etc. – and frequently is invited to local schools.
There are many opportunities to exhibit handwoven and handspun projects. The Guild has participated in shows at Mercy Medical Center Gallery and the Douglas County Library. Participating in the fiber arts entries at the Douglas County Fair and the State Fair is encouraged. In addition to the competitive nature of these exhibits, the entries increase public awareness of weaving and spinning and provide a means to display items difficult to exhibit at other shows ( skeins of yarn, small pieces).
The Fiber Arts competition at the annual Douglas County Lamb Show is sponsored by the Umpqua Weavers and Spinners Guild. A spin-in and sheep to shawl demonstration are featured. Traditionally, the shawl woven during the day has been auctioned before the evening lamb sale and the proceeds donated to the 4-H scholarship fund. Annually, the Jean Esche Award of $100 is made to a qualified 4-H applicant interested in raising a wool breed of sheep, the money to be used in purchasing a suitable ewe. In addition, premiums are donated to the Fleece Judging at the Douglas County Lamb Show.
Updated 20 November 2018