The Lobethal Tapestry

The Lobethal TapestryTapestry weaving is not well known in Australia but it has been practised since at least the 14th Century BC in Egypt and in Europe a thousand years later.

A tapestry is a hand-made fabric in which a design is woven on a loom which, in the case of the Lobethal Tapestry, will be an upright loom or haute lisse.

Tapestries usually depict sacred, legendary, historical and artistic themes. The idea of a Lobethal Tapestry originated from the recognition by the community that Lobethal has a very special place in the history of South Australia which has been largely overlooked.

Its early German settlement from 1842 (six years after the proclamation of the State) is contemporary with that of Hahndorf, which is very well-known, yet Lobethal is languishing.

The reason for this had its origins in industrial development leading to the establishment of the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill, famous nationally for its blankets and the weaving of the cloth used by the military in two world wars.

In retrospect it is odd that such a large State industry should have been established at Lobethal, deep in the Adelaide Hills away from main transport routes, but this arose from the initiative and labours of the early settlers in what was then an isolated community.

By the 1980’s international competitive forces threatened the Mill and it was closed in 1992. In its heyday during the 1930’s, Lobethal was the home of the Australian Grand Prix and it still has a proud tradition of Lutheran settlement and examples of very early development remain to this day.

The Lobethal Tapestry is intended to revive the pride of the population by depicting, for permanent public display, the story of Lobethal and contribute a significant work of art for the enjoyment of all including those volunteers who are enthusiastically looking forward to weaving it.

The tapestry has already been designed by a professional artist in close consultation with the local community and two other experienced tapestry weavers have trained the volunteers who will undertake the bulk of the actual weaving under their guidance.

The Lobethal tapestry weavers group has received sufficient funds to complete the preparations for the weaving. Now in July/August 2008 we find that funding for the final stage of the actual weaving of the tapestry is well short of the conservative budget and we are therefore obliged to seek sponsors or donors.

Monies received so far include: Local support – $250; Adelaide Hills Council – $3,000; Country Arts S.A – $4,985; and Veterans Affairs – $3,000. A further $7,000 is needed to complete the work!

Posters with collection boxes will soon be appearing in Lobethal shops, so please fill them with loose change!

We are also looking for an inexpensive but public sight for the weavers to work in and as many sponsors as possible to share the financial load.