On September 20, 2019, the Schacht Spindle Company threw itself a 50th anniversary party, inviting friends and associates to the plant in Boulder, Colorado. It was a fitting celebration for a company that started from the ground up with a simple drop spindle and a primitive loom that grew into the Schacht we know today: a thriving manufacturing company building a wide range of looms, spinning equipment, and shuttles.
Special invitees included Madelyn van der Hoogt, Linda Ligon, Deborah Chandler, Judy Steinkoenig, and Maggie Casey. Many weavers and spinners traveled to Colorado for the day simply to meet and rub shoulders with some of their personal heroes.
In true fiber-festival fashion, the day included food trucks, a marketplace, a spinning contest, a shuttle race, and a demo barn with looms and spinning wheels available for test-drives. For me, the highlights were a warp and weaving duel between a rigid-heddle and a shaft-loom weaver (Liz Gipson and Suzie Liles, respectively), Madelyn van der Hoogt demonstrating the features of a Cranbrook loom, and a tour of the impressive factory by Barry Schacht himself.
The celebration was capped off with a ceremony honoring the company, including Barry Schacht, Jane Patrick, and the special invitees mentioned above. I was once again reminded of their contributions and dedication to the fiber community. Our weaving and spinning world may be tiny, but on this day, at this plant, it felt like a force of nature.