Kentucky Tourism

Colmer, Neil

Berea, KY


weavings, woven towels

Originally from Pomeroy, Ohio, Neil Colmer grew up in an artistic family of musicians. He came to Kentucky in 1967 to attend Berea College where he discovered his love of weaving. While majoring in Spanish, Neil’s student labor assignment was in the weaving department of the Student Craft Labor Program. After four years in the college’s weaving program, Neil went to work for Berea College Fireside Industries as an employed weaver. He then worked at Fort Boonesborough and helped set up the Fort’s Craft Program. Neil was given the Kentucky Award in 1977 for promoting Kentucky to the world public. Continuing to weave full time – Neil will celebrate his 42nd year as a weaver this September, 2010. His studio is located on the corner of North Broadway in Old Town, Berea.


Neil specializes in traditional styles of weaving from a variety of cultures – creating coverlets in complicated patterns. He uses a variety of looms and has woven cloth from many fibers including cotton, wool, linen and even Mylar threads, but prefers cotton for its wash ability. His favorite styles of weaving are the colonial overshot patterns, Atwater Bronson Lace and double woven cloth.

Works by this artisan can be found at the Weavers Bottom, Berea, KY; and at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.