The National Wool Museum is custodian to one of Australia’s largest and most significant collections of heritage quilts and waggas.
A selection of these pieces, along with objects that tell the story of making do, will be on display for the first time in over 25 years during the exhibition NECESSITY: waggas and the art of making do.
Born of necessity and the desperate times of the 1890s to 1930s, the wagga was the bushman’s blanket, made by pioneering men from old jute wheat sacks and wool bales. As it evolved, women replaced the rough jute sacks with calico flour bags, fabric swatches and bits of old clothes. The wagga embodies the ‘make-do’ Aussie spirit.
NECESSITY: waggas and the art of making do is an ode to the beauty that emerges in desperate times – the extraordinary human capacity of making do.
Image: World War Two wagga, c1945 | Domestic wagga, 1945 | Childs quilt wagga, 1953, National Wool Museum Collection. Photo Pete James, 2021