The Guild was formed on 24 June 1950 with Elsabé Sauer as its first president. Understandably those early days had their challenges. There were only two weaving teachers in the Cape, Germaine Rouillard and Ans Blok. Looms and other equipment were unavailable. But in the early '50s thanks to a generous loan by the S.A. Wool Board of 2500 pounds (what wouldn't that be worth today?), orders could be placed with a local furniture manufacturer to build looms.

These could be bought by members of the guild either for cash or on easy terms. The price of a loom in those days ranged from just over 23 pounds to a whopping 55 pounds.

The Cape guild has continued to thrive and to promote not only the ancient and rewarding art of weaving but also spinning, knitting and feltmaking as well as other forms of textile crafts. Its membership is - and always has been - open to all. And at exhibitions, festivals and gatherings its members are often to be seen, a focus of public interest and fascination, as they demonstrate their various skills.

Barbara Schotel

(from the 50th Anniversary publication "Reaching Gold - 50"  Cape Guild of Weavers 24 June 1950 - 24 June 2000)

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