Thursday, August 23, 2018

Pioneer Women's Hut

The Pioneer Women's Hut is an unusual museum in many ways. Far from major metropolitan centres or even major tourist sites, it is located outside Tumbarumba, a small town in New South Wales about 480km southwest of Sydney.

However, it is worth the effort to visit the Pioneer Women's Hut because its collection focuses on "the ingenuity of women in finding solutions to the challenges of looking after a family in early rural Australia. I went there in search of material relating to clothing and textile sustainability, particularly the use of needlecraft skills to prolong the life of clothes.

I found items used for mending and darning:

And the most darned sock I've ever seen - why buy (or make) new socks when another darn will suffice:

These cloths have been neatly patched. (The red thread marking the repair might seem unnecessary but this photo is an enlargement - the repairs can be difficult to find.)

This beautiful crocheted cloth is testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the women who made it from over 200 pieces of cotton string unravelled from the tops of sugar and flour bags:

These replacement pockets were cut from old flour bags:

Detachable collars reduced the amount of washing that had to be done:

I love this dressing gown, made from pieces of woollen fabric. I'm thinking of making something similar for myself.

Small scraps of fabric were used for rag rugs, which provided comfort and a burst of colour, although I think they might have been very labour intensive to make:

The Pioneer Women's Hut is open:
  • Wednesdays 11.00am - 4.00pm
  • Saturdays and Sundays 10.00am - 4.00pm
  • Most Public Holidays 10.00am - 4.00pm

Booked groups, clubs and coaches by arrangement 7 days a week.

For further information, contact the Tumbarumba Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6948 3333 or email