Wisconsin Federation of Handweavers

The Wisconsin Federation of Handweavers began in 1950 with a request for charter members and $3.00 annual dues.  Five women formed an organizing committee and determined the purposes of the new organization which were:   

  • To establish a non-profit organization of Wisconsin hand weavers.
  • To establish standards of Craftsmanship,
  • To conduct or sponsor state and regional shows.

Ten area weavers held the first meeting of the organization in January of 1951, at the Charles Allis Art Library.  Meetings were held at the Charles Allis until the group outgrew the space.  Meetings are currently held at Gaenslen School, the site of the Alice Bertchy Kadish Weaving Center. 

 In 1985, the group officially changed it’s name to Wisconsin Handweavers, Inc.  Wisconsin Handweavers was granted 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status in 2007.

Education has always been a major focus of the organization.  The first WFH bulletin was published in 1951 and the first sample page and swatch  was added in 1952.  The sample page remains a popular part of the monthly newsletter and an important link for weavers throughout Wisconsin and neighboring states.    The Wisconsin Handweavers' Newsletter is published prior to each monthly meeting from September through May (except  January).

For over 50 years, WHI has promoted the art of hand weaving through juried exhibits, guild and workshop contributions, children’s exhibits, fashion shows, and sales of works by local weavers.  Other educational activities include annual demonstrations at the Wisconsin State Fair, numerous weaving workshops, and member appearances at many schools, art fairs and shows. 

Over the years, many well-known fiber arts professionals have spoken at taught at WHI meetings and workshops. These have included: Mary E. Snyder, Berta Frey, Jack Lenor, Else Regensteiner, Malin Selander, Virginia West, Alberje Koopman, Ede Rigbe, Victor Jacoby, Anita Luvera, Heather Wnslow, Daryl Lancaster and Jason Collingwood.


Old Names: Current name - Wisconsin Handweavers Guild or Wisconsin Handweavers, Inc.
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