London and Middlesex Branch – “I went to the weavers after some carpet:” Weavers and Customers in rural Ontario, 1859 to 1922

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Date(s) - September 7, 2024
10:00 am - 11:30 am

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


The London & Middlesex branch is pleased to invite you to join us on Saturday, September 7, 2024, at 10 am for our monthly hybrid event, with professional weaver and speaker, Deborah Livingston-Lowe, who will be joining us virtually. 

A bit about our Speaker:

Deborah Livingston-Lowe has been involved in many aspects of textiles, both practical and academic, for over 30 years. Her work in textiles is multidisciplinary as she works with designers to create textiles for fashion and interiors, with museums to reproduce textiles and with individuals to create unique items. Her early interest in handloom weaving and spinning has grown into a small-scale textile production business using locally sourced and milled fibre.  The design process always

Deborah at the Loom

begins with the characteristics of wool from specific breeds and how to make use of those unique properties. She collaborates with farmers, dyers and weavers to produce quality textiles rooted in the preindustrial textile tradition of Ontario.


This presentation will explore the relationship between weavers and customers in rural Ontario.  To further expand our general understanding of the approximately 2000 weavers who worked in nineteenth century Ontario, I will use the Ontario censuses and period textiles in museum collections.  In particular, I will discuss three weavers from Middlesex County: John Campbell, Thomas and John Alder and their customers by examining their account books and material culture. The presentation will be illustrated with images of textiles, textile equipment and written sources. This study of weavers and their customers provides insight about the local economy, the persistence of preindustrial technology in a period of technological change and the relationship between production and consumption of handwoven cloth.

Link to register (virtual):

Once registered, a confirmation email will be sent with the meeting details.

For those attending in person, we invite you to stay after the meeting for refreshments and to socialize. The London Familysearch Library (formerly the Family History Centre), located in the building, will also be open until 1 pm to allow you to do some research.