The Wanganui Spinners and Weavers Guild will be displaying some of its wares in an exhibition at Whanganui Arts Centre.

The exhibition will be open from Wednesday in the centre's front gallery and is a regular twice-yearly exhibition.

There are coats, cushions, blankets and scarves made with mostly natural fibres woven, knitted and crocheted.

Janice Hird, Elly Metekingi and Pamela Maclachlan have all made coats this year - all made with wool spun in Whanganui.


The members say their guild was established during WWII by local women who wanted to support their men fighting overseas.

"They would have made mostly socks and scarves and, of course, we make a far wider array of things now."

Like the medieval warrior woman costume they produced for the national Creative Fibre Festival that was modelled by group member Nadine Corcoran in Christchurch.

Clothing made by hand, using natural fibres, has become part of the worldwide "slow fashion" movement.

Janice Hird says the techniques and materials are still pretty much the same as their predecessors would have used and sheep wool is still their most used fibre.

"Some members use Alpaca wool which is lovely and soft and some use Tencel."

Tencel or lyocell is a sustainable fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose.

The group has about 50 members and they meet on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings at the former Special Olympic rooms in Peat St.


"We welcome new members and we have spinning wheels and some small looms available," says Hird.

The Wanganui Spinners and Weavers Guild exhibition will be open for viewing from Wednesday, August 1, at Whanganui Arts@Centre, 19 Taupo Quay, 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to pm on Saturday.