Weaving stories from the woollen mill

Article image - Weaving stories from the woollen mill The projected image of a former worker at the mill puts a face to the story as he recounts his experiences of a past era.

The former Onkaparinga Woollen Mill in Lobethal, South Australia, now reimagined as FabriK arts and heritage hub, will be lit up with projections of local stories this month in celebration of the site’s 150 year history.

Adelaide Hills Mayor, Jan-Claire Wisdom, said, “We know how important the mill was as a major employer in the district, with up to four generations of families working here.

“Council has great respect for the local community’s connection to the mill, and we want to acknowledge this by showcasing their unique history.

“South Australia’s History Month is a great opportunity to do so and the projections will give a truly personal touch.”

Director of Fabrik, Melinda Rankin, describes Weaving Stories as a first step in exploring the history of the factory, and looks forward to learning more about what happened during its many years of operations.

“This was a highly skilled workforce responsible for the production of iconic Onkaparinga blankets.

“The stories of how these blankets came into being, as well as the friendships built among the looms, will make an amazing installation.”

The Weaving Stories project shows video stories of former Woollen Mill employees projected onto walls of the Mill buildings as part of South Australia’s History Festival. The videos will then be retained for future use on the site.

Fabrik, the German word for factory, is a salute to Lobethal’s rich German heritage and a link to the mill’s former life as producer of woollen fabric.