Do you own a Wilde Weavery blanket? If you answered no, then why not? Unfortunately, unless you can find an individual selling theirs, I think you are to late.
I first learned of Mrs. CJ Wilde’s hand woven blankets while watching Mark A. Baker’s DVD series,”Pioneering: The Longhunter Series”. Mr. Baker makes reference in the video to his personal Wilde blanket. Then, while visiting the annual winter rendezvous at Fort De Chartres in 2007, I had the pleasure of seeing CJ’s work up close and personal. Mr. Ed Wilde had several of CJ’s blankets on display as well as numerous other items the Wilde’s make and offer for sale.
Now, for those of you that do not know me, I am a bit of a blanket guru. For several years, I would buy a blanket at practically every rendezvous I attended. That was until I handled one of the Wilde blankets. The level of crafstmanship in each blanket was far superior then any other that I own. However, I elected to not purchase a blanket at the event due to the cost being a little more then I was willing to pay.
After the event, I started doing a little research on the Wilde blanket which of course made my desire to own one that much more. I learned that CJ studied under a master weaver from Scotland who specialized in 18th century reproductions. The Wilde’s have studied and researched many original pieces and have been reproducing these originals for 25 years.
As soon as my wife and I decided that we would be attending the 2009 annual winter rendezvous at Fort De Chartres, purchasing a Wilde blanket became my priority. As luck would have it, Ed Wilde was there with a good supply of blankets. After much deliberation as well as some drooling, I decided on the blanket pictured in this article.
After purchasing the blanket, I confirmed that I had made the right choice in buying a Wilde blanket. Ed provided me with a period correct medallion as well as the history of the blanket I was buying. My blanket (pictured) was copied from textile fragments excavated from a well on the site of Henry Wetherburn’s Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia. The history behind the blanket alone made the purchase worth every dollar. Ed Wilde also writes every buyer’s name and address into a register that way they know where every blanket went after leaving their hands.
Ed Wilde, who was a pleasure to conduct business with, informed me that I was probably buying just in time. Unfortunately, years of weaving is starting to physically catch up with CJ and Ed informed me that she will no longer be weaving blankets. I was hoping the Wilde’s would change their minds but after checking the Wilde Weavery web site today, the realization sunk in. Their web site shows all Wilde blankets are officially sold out.
Although, you may not be able to purchase a hand woven blanket from the Wilde’s, they do offer several other items for sale. The list includes: shooting bags, knapsacks, haversacks, sashes, straps, leg ties and others. Trust me when I say the craftsmanship that went into their blankets is extended into their other items. The same day I purchased the blanket, I also purchased a knapsack. The knapsack has became one of my favorite pieces of gear.
You may visit the Wilde Weavery web site by clicking on www.wildeweavery.com or give them a call at 417-998-6005.