Roman history and textiles technology day at Fishbourne Roman Palace

By Rachel Hayward | 07 July 2010
Photo showing a group of secondary school girls trying out traditional craft techniques with wool at a textiles workshop day at Fishbourne Roman Palace

Courtesy Fishbourne Roman Palace

News: Year 7 pupils enjoyed a special hands on Roman history experience with a Textiles Technology Day at Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex.

The pupils, 66 girls in all, from Northwood College in Middlesex were divided into groups to be given their introduction to textiles day by Fishbourne Palace's education team, volunteers and helpers from the Sussex Guild of Spinners and Weavers.

The girls experienced wool dyeing and were shown teasels, plants that were used to do the carding in Roman times, before moving onto dyeing the raw wool using natural dyes such as marigolds.

They then tried card washing sheep wool to comb the wool fibres and remove the dirt, weaving on a large hand loom, tablet weaving and weaving on Peg looms, spinning, feltmaking to make pictures and Kumihimo braiding - involving a piece of card and lengths of yarn to produce a long braid.

The girls were totally immersed in Roman history during their day at Fishbourne which is the largest Roman residence north of Rome. They were able to examine the 2,000 year old floor mosaic floor and other artefacts in the museum and taste Roman food and find out how it was prepared and cooked in the Roman Kitchen.

Teacher Jacqui Onslow said: "All the girls loved the idea that this was a hands-on trip, many have commented on 'the exciting practical work we did' and have asked to do some of it next year in school. 'It was the best trip we have been on, because we did things', 'Everybody was really nice and taught us new things', 'Even though my arm was in plaster I could still do everything - it was really good', were just some of the comments we received."

Visit the Sussex Past website for information on Fishbourne's educational programme.

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