Upper Canada Weaving

Toronto, ON, Canada

Deborah Livingston-Lowe is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), where she majored in woven textiles. In addition to teaching for the Toronto District School Board, she has worked in many capacities in the discipline of historic textiles over the past 30 years.

She has hands-on knowledge of antique textiles from conserving, restoring, and appraising textiles for public and private collections. She draws from this knowledge to bring authenticity to her woven reproductions of nineteenth-century Canadian textiles using period techniques and equipment.

She presents her academic research, which explores the importance of weavers in the nineteenth-century rural economy, at conferences in Canada and the United States. Deborah also enlists her knowledge of woven textiles to create conceptual works of art using the craft of weaving.


As a clothing collection that creates fabric and yarns from traceable farm fiber to finished piece, there are often certain fibers that are difficult to turn into fabric for various cost/volume/logistics reasons. It is also a challenge to get  woven fabrics that go beyond the "basic weave types" in special small batch volumes.

For example, cotton fiber fabric machines require very high volumes of cotton fiber to "string up" the machine to begin weaving yardage on (1,000lbs at times).

So instead of buying 1,000 yards of cotton fabric in one very basic weave type (twill, plain weave, sateen), Deborah is able to create beautiful small batch artisanal fabrics on her hand-looms that are far more intricate and detailed and in made-to-order amounts we can handle as a small sustainable fashion house.