In 2023 McKellar will be celebrating 150 years as a township.
Historically, McKellar Village was a bustling community, once rivalling Parry Sound in size. Along with a lumber mill there was a wool and spinning mill, known for its quality blankets and spun yarn.
The resurgence of a local fibre mill, while meeting a very modern need in the current Ontario Textile Industry, also honours and is reclaiming an historic trade and farm practice.
The McKellar “150 for 150” Project aims to weave a maximum of 150 McKellar Tartan blankets/throws to honour the sesquicentennial birthday, 150 blankets for 150 years as a township. This is a limited edition, each hand woven and numbered, with their provenance recorded.
The blankets are currently being made from our local alpaca fleece. As they are handmade, variations will occur with each batch.
Deborah Livingston-Lowe of Upper Canada Weaving used the original MacKellar Tartan as a template, refining it into the McKellar Tartan of today. In the tradition of tartans; clans, communities, families and associations all establish their colours. This one is for McKellar.
The wool is 100% natural. No dyes or harsh chemicals are used. The colour comes from the fleece as it comes off the animal. The drape and softness is a testament to the simplicity and cleanliness of the traditional process.
The McKellar 150 for 150 project will support the re-establishment of a fibre mill, making spinning and weaving once more a vital part of the local economy.