Lulu’s Studio


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow that you’ve shared a bit of the history of weaving and been introduced to a variety  of looms, come on into my studio where there is quite a sophisticated setup.  The loom is a 16 harness, 60″ production loom designed by AVL in Chico, California.  With it, the design possibilities are limitless.

img_8625After years of struggling with graph paper and colored pencils, I now do all the preliminary design work on the computer which allows me to glimpse what the fabric will look like no matter what its color combinations and treadling order.  I can spend hours testing the variations and determining the integrity of the cloth.

img_4963When I am ready to weave, I choose colors from the vast array of fibers in the studio.

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I use primarily silk, rayon, perle cotton, bamboo and chenille threads because they are lightweight and drape beautifully.  There was a time when I dyed many of the fibers, but once I found a resource (Silk City Fibers) that had not only the ones I desired but a rainbow of colors, that step was eliminated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce a design and colors are determined the hard part of preparing the loom begins.  First,  the warp threads are wound and placed on a warping board.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen  they are threaded on this device

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand wound onto the beam.  These are the easiest steps.

img_4956Now comes the hard part of threading the loom without making an error in the threading order that has been designed on the computer.  Not only does this take a lot of time, it requires intense concentration, no conversation or TV watching!  When I need a break, I’ve learned to be very careful to make note of the spot where I quit.

img_4421With the threading done, checked and rechecked, the warp is tied onto an apron and the weaving begins.  The computer is connected to the loom and a little black box reads the treadling order as I work the foot treadles and throw the fly shuttle.  In just minutes, I can see the results of all the preliminary work  which gives me such instant gratification.  And you can’t imagine the sigh of relief when I see that there are no threading errors.  Believe me, they show up quickly and after saying a few colorful words, there is no choice but to correct the mistake!

Many yards of fabric have come from this studio, and I haven’t even touched the surface of  creative possibility.  If you will come back one more time, I’d love to tell you the story of how I got into weaving and show you some of what has come off the loom.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

27 thoughts on “Lulu’s Studio

  1. This definitely look s like a lot of work! I can understand your threading relief – and the choice words when something’s amiss. That’s the frustrating thing about hand crafts – getting all the details just right. When sewing machines break down, it’s frustrating because you have to stop the entire process and wait for repair or resolve it yourself. Your loom is a beautiful contraption. It’s amazing to see the intricacy of it all. Thanks so much for sharing it. I think we all have a new appreciation for weaving!

  2. Wow, that’s amazing! And you have a beautiful studio, Linda!! It’s fascinating to see how you use a computer with your work. Getting this from you in Houston just now was a bit surreal, though, since I’ve spent the last 3 hours on tenterhooks, watching news from Houston and messaging with daughter-in-law in her lab at Baylor as my son was in lockdown in the CCU with patients at Ben Taub Hospital because of a reported shooter… Think I’ll go get lost in my own fabric work right now!

  3. I know I keep repeating myself by using the word fascinating, but this is simply fascinating to me Linda! I can’t begin to figure out how you do the thread pattern, but at least with a computer to help it’s a little less mind blowing. You must have a huge studio to house your loom, and don’t you miss it when you’re living in Maine half the year? I love the rainbow of threads on the wall and can’t wait to see some of your finished pieces. Please tell us how/where you sell or market them. P.S. I went to college at CSU Chico! Wonderful beautiful town!
    Jenna

  4. Oh my is what I thought instantly too. Gorgeous colors and beautiful art. Creative gifts are treasures, to me at times lifesavers. Thank you for sharing this inspiration with us.

  5. I found your site via the Mexican Cheesecake recipe. I laughed out loud when I saw Chico, Ca listed since my husband and I went to college there and we still have friends who live in the town. We don’t recognize the company name, but I am going to go look them up.

    • AVL is quite well known for its sophisticated line of looms. I didn’t know there was a college there, but I know a daughter’s friend went to boarding school in Chico. Thanks for stopping by.

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