All images courtesy of Jane Beck.
The Ruskin gallery at Lancaster University is currently showing a display of Welsh Tapestries, loaned by Jane Beck. Jane is the expert on Welsh heritage textiles, and the founder of Jane Beck Welsh Blankets Ltd, the largest collection and trader of Welsh blankets in the world. The exhibition runs until 25th November.
Welsh Tapestries is a display of eight works on loan from Jane’s personal collection of Welsh textiles dating from the 18th Century. Welsh tapestries enable an appreciation of the connections between resources and means of production, and the gallery hopes it will generate rich conversations around how to preserve knowledge, skill and memory for the future.
Neither a weaver nor a specialist in dye techniques, Jane has become an expert in identifying the weave patterns, production methods and provenance of Welsh blankets produced in the past 150 years. In 2012, her website was recognized by the National Web Archive as being of Welsh National Heritage importance, and a valuable research resource.
Working from a traditional tin-shed shop on the borders of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, Jane is a trader in Welsh textiles both vintage and new. 'With an eye on the past and a foot in the future', Jane has been at the forefront of the recent surge in popularity of heritage Welsh textiles, supplying blankets for President Obama and NATO delegates, alongside the many visitors who flock to her destination shop, Ty Zinc.
Through this loan, Jane is sharing her expertise in the social history of the Welsh woollen industry, extensive knowledge of archive and contemporary methods and patterns, and her enthusiasm for the stunning textiles on display.
For more information on Welsh tapestries visit www.welshblankets.co.uk
For more information on the exhibition at The Ruskin, visit www.lancaster.ac.uk