Toronto born fibre artst Helen Benninger fell in love with her grandmother’s treadle sewing machine at an early age. She learned how to use an electric sewing machine when she was 12 and immediately began to make her own clothes. That was the beginning of a life-long journey into all things fibre related.

Her interest in textiles and natural fibres led to an exploration of the many
components which go into making fabric including spinning yarn, dyeing, and
weaving on a floor loom. She also learned to embroider, knit and crochet.

Helen first arrived in Stratford in 1980 as a seamstress in the wardrobe department at the
Stratford Festival. She spent several seasons there learning as much as she could from the many talented seamstresses and tailors there. Eventually she began to use her various skills to create and sell her own original designs. Her wall hangings, pictures, wearable art scarves and jackets are well known in Stratford and Toronto.

For a change of pace during her recent alone times, she returned to weaving, this time on a small portable tapestry loom. This has reinvigorated her and inspired a whole new body of work. Helen’s mother was Adele Weaver before she married Alfred Benninger. So, Helen is A. Weaver’s daughter.

Helen has bounced between Toronto and Stratford for all her adult life, creating original fibre art along the way. She has recently taken up permanent residence in Stratford.