Sunday, December 18, 2011

Colour and Weave

About a year ago I had a small group of beginner weavers who wanted to move on with their rigid heddle weaving.  One of them was Jane Cowan, who has recently sent me a picture of her lovely rug, woven for her daughter on her rigid heddle loom.
Jane wanted to know it there was a book that could help her design different "patterns" on her rigid heddle.  After seeing this beautiful piece of weaving I suggested "Colour and Weave Design - A practical reference book" by Ann Sutton.  It's out of print now, but there are one or two second hand copies available and worth having in your library if you can get hold of one.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tip of the month - December 2011

I've been teaching quite a few rigid heddle workshops and courses recently,  mostly to new weavers, so I wanted to start a "tips" section on this blog in the hope it will be useful to all weavers, not just "newbies".
This month I had some lovely new people who had purchased new rigid heddle looms, could warp with the quick warping method and were getting along just fine.   One thing I did notice, though, was how they pack the warp at the beginning!  Some of the manufacturers suggest packing with card!  Such a lot of precious warp is wasted with this method, so I've been showing my students how to pack the start of the warp, to get the gaps filled quickly.
There are two types of packing I use, one is old thrums (the ends (threads) that's left at the end of a warp) which is something new weavers seldom have, and the other is long strips of fabric.
Even with a small square or rectangle of fabric you can cut long strips.
Take your fabric and cut 1" strips across the width, but not quite all the way across (see the image on the left).  This will give you a long strip which you can then use as your packing.

Fold the beginning of your strip so that it's just wider than your warp width and place in the shed.  Change your shed and from the same side of the warp, fold another section of your strip of fabric and place in this shed.
Beat each section of packing as you go and continue to add the packing until you find that the gaps between the bundles of warp ends are closed.

You will find with this method that the gaps close fairly quickly and that you waste much less warp.

Another nice thing is that the packing can remain in the warp until the cloth is finished and when you want to remove if, all you need to do is pull the first  the first piece of the strip and it all unravels nicely!
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