Now 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.
After 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.
When I am ready to weave, I choose colors from the vast array of fibers in the studio.
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.
Once 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.
Then they are threaded on this device
and wound onto the beam. These are the easiest steps.
Now 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.
With 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