Immerse yourself in traditional textile crafts

Weaving is our heritage. We have always wanted to share that history in a practical way and are delighted that we are now able to do that with creative courses that are based on textile processes.

We have 10 lovely old looms in the Twisting Gallery just waiting for you. We have also planted a dye garden and willows so we can explore natural dyeing and traditional craft using sustainable materials from the Mill grounds.

Obtain an insight into how cloth is made by taking one of our weaving workshops or improve rusty knowledge in a skills workshop.

And, If you are a hand weaver without a loom, we can offer you access to one on a drop in basis during periods when we are not using them for workshops!

Our weaving courses are run by Agnis Smallwood; an expert hand weaver, designer, maker, educator and researcher who loves to make, create and teach.

Weaving in a day

Our full day workshop that introduces the basics of weaving. Great to test out the looms and leave with a finished piece.

See what's on
weaving rolls

Beginners Weaving Courses

Spend 5 or 6 weeks learning how to weave on a traditional hand loom. We’ll take you through the steps, from designing, to warping and weaving. You’ll leave with your own finished fabric samples and enough experience to be able to have a go on your own.

See what's on
Weaving at Sunny Bank Mills

The Looms

We have 8 vintage dobby looms of 16″ reed width, capable of weaving up to 36 shafts. We also have 2 George Wood dobby looms, one 40″ reed width with a 24 shafts dobby, and the second is 16″ reed width with a 16 shaft dobby.


The shafts have the warp threads (aka ends) drawn through them. They lift the ends to produce the weave. The shafts are controlled by the dobby which sits on top of the loom. The most simple weave needs only 2 shafts, next up needs 4. We have set most of our looms up with 8 shafts, which gives a basic range of weaves. 36 shafts would allow you to weave some pretty complex patterns. Looms with more than 16 shafts are quite rare.