Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent


An old woman weaving at her loom.

Mother Gamache weaving a catalogne

© Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Paul-Émile Martin coll., m04034.

Crafts were one of the attractions for summer people in eastern Quebec, starting in the 19th century. Advertising by the railroad companies and many hotels highlights the quality of French Canadian handiwork. Starting in the 1930s, folklorists studied their techniques, materials and distinctive patterns. Some tourists and summer people coveted catalognes for use as blankets or floor coverings, while others bought Murray Bay socks (typical long striped wool socks), linen dishcloths, embroidered aprons, and so on. Popular art also enjoyed great success, in particular in Charlevoix. Little by little, a “crafts industry” was born! 

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