Florida Tropical Weaver's Guild is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to educate the public on the art and craft of weaving, spinning and basketry. It's membership consists of anyone who is interested in promoting opportunities for weavers of all skill levels to develop new skills, interests and expand their creative efforts in the fiber arts.
The state guild was formed March 5, 1943, precipitated by the Florida Department of Agriculture - Sea Island Bureau re-introducing cotton in the state as a commercial crop in 1935. Individuals were sought who could teach the public about the many aspects of cotton - growth, processing, and use.
Naturally, spinning and weaving were an integral part of this and teachers were identified in the Orlando area who would teach a cottage industry of spinning and weaving cotton cloth.
This simple education project took hold across the state. Individual guilds were formed and, in 1943, the Florida Tropical Weaver's Guild was formed as a way of joining individual guilds together and providing further support to the education efforts.
We have come a long way, building on a foundation of the love of fiber, the desire to learn technical weaving skills and the creative urge to expand the use and manipulation of cloth. This is evident as you look back on past conferences and the classes offered.
Funds are generated through membership, and the once-a-year conference. Those funds are then given back to members through the Scholarship programs, the annual three-day conference and through support donations made to local education programs.
The Scholarships, the New Explorers Award and the conference promote education and dissemination of knowledge. We have also taken on community service as a way of extending our efforts.