Friday, July 26, 2019

What’cha Wanna Weave?

Pennsic XLVIII

-        Questions to ask before you begin:
o   What kind of project are you weaving?
o   What width?
§  Wide fabric? Full loom
§  Narrow fabric? Belt loom
§  Band/belt? Inkle, box, table loom
o   What length?
§  Continuous warp
§  Open warp
o   How intricate?
§  Rigid heddles
§  Finger picking
§  Card weaving
§  Floating heddles (punch cards)
§  Fixed shape

-        Full/floor loom
o   Width of your wingspan
§  How far you can repeatedly throw a shuttle
§  Normally up to 5’ (60”)
o   Infinite length
o   Varied complexity
§  Rigid heddles (4 is common)
§  Punch cards
§  Finger picking
o   Takes up a large space/small room

-        Belt/back strap loom
o   Most traditional fabrics, still used by modern native cultures
o   Only requires a couple of sticks, two bands (or belts), and an anchor (tree)
o   Shoulder width
§  Vikings ~ 26”
o   Infinite length
o   Varied complexity
§  Rigid heddles
§  Punch cards
§  Finger picking

-        Small looms
o   Box, Inkle, Card weaving looms
o   Inkle
§  Normally has one set heddle
§  Small work space that can be used for card weaving but can be tight
§  Has a set maximum yardage
§  Has small width (couple of inches, depending on loom)
o   Card weaving loom
§  Set maximum yardage
§  Small width
§  Larger working space
o   Box loom
§  Variable length
·        Weighted warp or wrapped around peg
§  Width often up to a foot
o   Weighted loom
§  Open ended warp that wraps around a peg on the finished end and floats off the edge on the far end with weights on each warp
·        If using poppable bobbins or washers, you can run a bolt through the centers to keep them in order
o   Tapestry/Pin/Frame loom
§  Hand weave each thread
§  Constrained to a fixed shape

-        Warp
o   Depending on the tension of your warp, your fabric can be Warp Facing or Weft Facing
o   If using a fixed length loom, your warp is going to get tighter as you work, and your image will begin to lengthen.
o   Tablet weaving can quickly tighten up your warp if you continuously rotate your cards in the same direction and twist up your warps.
o   You want to make sure you “pack” your wefts evenly so as not to distort your image (a plastic ruler works very well)
o   You also want to keep your warp threads at a consistent width
§  Keep the tension in your weft consistent so as to not choke the warps
§  Different cards can space your warps more (wood, bone, hard plastic) or less (poker cards)
§  Rigid heddles and combs will space them out a lot
§  You can use a spacer (which also helps keep threads from switching places)

-        Thread
o   Make sure you are using the correct thickness and “polish” for your project
o   Crochet cotton has a good thickness and resilience for beginners
o   Wool can felt if it rubs together too often
o   Silk can chew through thinner cards
o   Metallic thread can be used but isn’t very structural.  You can run a structural weft thread and then shadow it with the foil.
o   Card weaving will produce a fabric twice as thick as other techniques because it alternates between four (or six) threads per stitch instead of two. This also allows for different designs on both sides.

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