Story: Sewing, knitting and textile crafts

Maria Williams knitting, early 20th century

Maria Williams knitting, early 20th century

Missionary women were the first knitters in New Zealand. Maria Williams, daughter of missionaries Jane and William Williams, opened a school for Māori girls in Napier in 1877, and one subject she taught was knitting. She is wearing a shawl and cap she would have knitted herself, and is knitting a delicate garment, perhaps something for a baby.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Williams Family Collection
Reference: 1/2-029572-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Sewing, knitting and textile crafts - Knitting, spinning and weaving', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 Sep 2013