Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Monday, 15 June 2015

North Uist Weavers & Weaveresses

I thought I would take a wee look at the census records for those engaged in weaving in North Uist:

1841 Male - 2 Female - 21 Total - 23

1851 Male – 6 Female – 103 Total - 109

1861 Male – 2 Female - 63 Total - 65

1871 Male - 2 Female - 89 Total - 91

1881 Male - 3 Female – 102 Total - 105

1891 Male - 1 Female - 132 Total - 133

1901 Male - 0 Female - 76 Total – 76

What strikes me is that the pattern in North Uist is remarkably similar to that in Harris where weaving throughout the nineteenth century was primarily a female occupation. My analysis for Harris can be read here.

Incidentally, about a quarter (26 of 103) of the women weaving in 1851 describe themselves to be a 'Hand Loom Weaver' this number falling to 2 in 1871 and rising to only 6 in 1881 before disappearing from the censuses altogether.

I discussed the recording of these 'HLW's in this earlier piece.

Incidentally, it is also only in the 1891 census that we see the word 'tweed' appended to the weaving role and, indeed, there are only 5 weavers in that year (and only 1 a decade later) who refer to their produce as 'tweed'.I think this further emphasises that the marketing of woollen produce as 'tweed' only starts to occur in the islands as we approach the end of the century.

I discussed this more fully in this piece regarding aspects of the development of the Harris Tweed industry in Harris.

No comments:

Post a Comment