16 Mar 2016

Oamaru weaver Sue McLean on creating heirlooms of the future

From Nine To Noon, 11:26 am on 16 March 2016

The South Island town of Oamaru is well known for its heritage buildings, but it's also home to a very special functioning antique – a 100 year old weaving system.

Sue and Rod McLean run a business weaving short runs of traditionally inspired fabric on the Hattersley Domestic Weaving System  – circa 1918 – bought just over a decade ago.

Rod set about repairing and restoring the cast iron machine with the idea they could one day have a business where people could watch the looms working and buy the textiles they'd create.

It's the only working loom of its kind in New Zealand and the couple are making runs of woven fabric – sometimes out of spun wool people send them from their own properties (including tartans and herringbone) from a shed at the back of their property.