Current Exhibition

textiles in fashion early days

“Threads of History: Exploring Maine’s Textile Past”

Collaborative programming exploring Maine textile history in and around Brunswick and Topsham. May, June and July 2017


An exhibition at Maine Fiberarts with artwork and artifacts by: Chris Antonak, Barbara Burns, Crystal Cawley, Janet Conner, Roslyn Logsdon, Richard Lee, Arlene Morris, Gail Skudera, Jill Snyder Wallace, and Donald Talbot. On view May 10-July 28, 2017. Hours: Wed.-Friday, 11-4; Saturday, 11-2

Historian Candace Kanes will lead a walk along Maine Street, Brunswick pointing out the locations of fiber-related businesses: corsetieres, dressmakers, milliners, seamstresses, tailors, and dry goods stores covering the period from 1825 to 1930. Discussions will address why women, especially, operated small businesses, shops, or engaged in the dress, hat, and corset-making trades, and how their activities (as well as those of men in the fields) shaped the Brunswick and Topsham communities for many years. A brief overview about commercial textile manufacturing in Brunswick will also be explored. Date to be announced.

After a brief illustrated talk on the history of the Cabot Mill from its beginning as The Brunswick Company in 1835 through the end of textile production in the 1950's, Scott Hanson will lead a walking tour of the mill complex, entering some areas the public rarely sees. Date to be announced.

Scott will talk about the development and history of the significant and important textile mills that once employed large numbers of people in Brunswick and Topsham. From small wool carding mills in the 1820's through the massive brick Cabot cotton mill, built between 1895 and 1923, textile production played an important role in the community's growth and prosperity for more than a century. Date to be announced.

The Skolfield-Whittier House is a time capsule of Maine life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. “Scarcely a cup has been moved since a ship captain’s family and his descendants resided in the home, making the Skolfield-Whittier House an uncommon lens into lives and lifestyles of the past.” A special emphasis on historical textiles will be offered by our guide. Date to be announced.

Hands-on piecing and machine sewing workshop offered by the talented Stephanie Levy, who creates quilts, garments, and even a nine-foot wide “potholder” rug using carefully-saved fabric scraps. Learn an historical technique for use in contemporary work. Date to be announced.

An original video created in 2011 by Maine Fiberarts to embellish a copy of a 1950's TV program found in the Worumbo Mill. The video highlights the lost “Made to Measure” industry at Lewiston’s Worumbo Mill. Date to be announced.

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Maine Humanities Council, Alfred Senter Fund, Davis Family Foundation and Maine Fiberarts’ members and friends.

Threads of History