Weaving Study Group
The initial meeting of the group on Tuesday March 24, 2014 involved a discussion about the issue participants would most like the group to address.
The area where most people lacked confidence was in choice and use of colour.
The second area where people wanted to improve their skills was the technical side of preparing warps and dressing looms – calculating thread numbers, denting, designing, reading and understanding patterns, and using a raddle.
Other issues included tapestry weaving, and drafting a pattern from a finished item people have seen and liked.
Since then we have gone on to try several different weaving techniques, and colour combinations.
June 2018: We will be studying woven Shibori and choosing an option to weave over the next month. Then in August we will finish our projects by dyeing them to create lots of interesting effects.
May 2018: We had a discussion on the various knots weavers use, and shared information on which ones we prefer to use in various situations, or with different fibres.
April 2018: We are all working on very different projects at the moment. Ann S has completed a fine silk wrap for her future daughter-n-law to wear at her wedding. Carol is making scarves and wraps, while Nerida is designing her next project, and also led a discussion of the subletly of stripes in some fabrics. Beryl is doing a striped pattern on her rigid heddle loom. Mwyf has completed a clasped weave piece on the Piccolo, and Ken has made several stunning scarves, some with warps painted when he, Gill, Carol and Lorraine spent a day together learning from each other. Gill gas been doing bead leno, and Lorraine had attempted some woven Shibori, but will try again now she has access to information about it!
After looking at what people have been weaving, we discussed exploring some techniques none of us have tried before, and attempt to teach ourselves as a group gleaning information from books, the net and each other - woven shibori will be the first workshop we will try together.
A range of projects completed during the past month.
From left, clockwise.
Nerida's bag woven on a log cabin draft, with inlay.
Lorraine's striped fabric
Gill's pink scarf with eyelashes inlay
Carol's white scarf, woven with fine handspun merino, which fulled beautifully
Carol's plaid scarf, in a twill weave
Much of the meeting was spent discussing on-line tutorials various members have been visiting. Jane Stafford's tutorials are proving very popular.
January 2018: After sharing information about workshops we had attended over the break, and discussing projects and samples we had brought, we adjourned outside to experiment with fibre burn tests. We had brought a range of fibres, some of known content and some unknown. We had reasonable success in identifying some of the fibres, but a few others were questionable. With a breeze blowing, it was often difficult for us all to get a good sense of the smell of the burning fibres.
The November Weaving Study group was cancelled due to packing for our move to the Showground
We had a discussion anout NM numbers, which are a newer standard for spectifying the thickness of yarns we use in weaving. An explanation of the way NM numbers are calculated can be found at https://colourmart.com/about.
Ken had just completed a rug, while Lorraine and Carol showed some items done on their new Ashford 8 shaft table looms, and 4 shaft Saori loom.
Left: Ken's reversible woolen floor rug
Below: Carol's twill scarf (lower right) and Lorraine's two silk scarves and twill length with boucle feature.
We will be learning how to use the McMorrin Balance our club has recently purchased. We will also look at different resources which help us determine the wraps per inch of different fibres.
On August 29 we visited Ken's studio to look at his newly acquired computerised floor loom, and his shaft switching floor loom for weaving rugs.
At our July meeting we discussed a pick-up pattern Nerida is designing to create an illustration of a cat. The design will be woven in black and white, and involve pick-ups in every row. Ken brought in a new rug he has woven. Lorraine broought in a skinny wall hanging she has woven and the discussion then centered on fringes and finishes for our woven items. Ann S had completed a tea towel woven on the crackle/overshot draft.
Left: Ann's crackle/overshot tea towel
Right: Lorraine with her skinny wall hanging, which was given a new fringe finish after the workshop discussions.
The 8 shaft loom with the crackle/overshot drafts continues to progress around the group. Mwyf has completed her project, and Ann now has theloom. The group had a round table discussion covering a range of topics: designs for props, where to obtain woven garment labels, websites of interest, what we learned from our recent exhibition, and how to do it better next time! We have also become aware that many other groups are unwilling to experiment with Saori weaving and techniques, preferring instead to stick with traditional styles of weaving. With out group, it has been the exposure to Saori weaving that has spurred interest in the craft and encourage more people in the club to take up weaving.
Gill has been successfully using a weave-it-square for sampling patterns she intends to weave.
Gill brought in the sample tea towells she had woven on the crackle/overshot warp. The loom is now with Mwyf while she does her samples.
Above: Gill's tea towells. Right: Gill's silk noil scarf
Gill showed a white silk scarf she had woven with a silk noil weft to creat a pebble effect. On washing, the width of the scarf shrank to half its original width
We warped up one of the club 8 shaft looms with a composite of two weaves - four of the shafts had crackle weave and the other four had Overshot. Both weaves required the use of a tabby thread. Each member of the group will tie their own warp on to the master warp.
Below: Lorraine's sample - the darkest colour is the crackle weave, and the lighter one is overshot. The continuous line contains both weaves.
We attempted a couple of samples of collapse weave, but had little success.
Gill has had success in creating a flow effect in a couple of scarves, using a Crackle weave. Carol completed a plain weave scarf in using a multi-colour silk yarn in both warp and weft. Nerida showed a black and white shadow weave sample she had drafted. Lorraine had completed a multi stripe length in baby alpaca.
31st January 2017
We are in the middle of a 2 day workshop with Liz Calnan. At our meeting we discussed issues relating to the workshop - eight of us are weaving with silk and four are beginner weavers. We have found dyeing silk has been a problem and this was discussed at length. No doubt we will have more answers after the second day of the workshop.
29th November 2016
Discussion was focused on :-
- Reducing warp visibility on weft faced clasped weave
- Using one twill warp threading with different lifting patterns
- How best to reduce the draw in of Bead Leno
- Warp density using Cottolin for Tea Towels
We discussed the different thickness classifications eg 20/2 10/1 30/2 and how best to identify them. We are looking into obtaining a sample card showing all the variations.
We have been exploring Wet Fulling and plan to workshop some fulling techniques at our February Meeting.
Above: Ann's Bead Leno
Below Left and Centre: Gill's scarves woven with twill threading different patterns
Below Right: Lorraine's Ruana using varied thick wools.
25th October 2016
Left: Nerida's runner
Right: Ken's bead leno scarves.
Completed bead leno items were bought in by Lorraine Ken and Nerida and properties were discussed.
Nerida had experimented with pick and bead leno producing a effective runner.
Lyn had been experimenting with her Saori Loom and had devised several interesting designs in making up her pieces.
We also looked at samples of clasped weft techniques.
27 September 2016
We warped a loom for weaving a bead leno project. Ken had recently purchased a book Weave Leno by Martha Reeves, which we all browsed through and found inspirational. Lorraine brought in several bead leno items she had woven.
Above: The completed silk scarf we warped up at the meeting.
Right: A mirror bead leno scarf woven by Lorraine.
30th August - General Disussion
We discussed finishing techniques for woven fabric garments. Weaving site to look up www.handweaving.com This site has thousands of weaving patterns for garments.
Lorraine had finished her snakeskin scarf and this draft was discussed because of the complexity and colour variations available.
Bead Leno was chosen as the next pattern to investigate.
Lorraines Snakeskin Scarf
Bill wearing his woven jacket woven by Lorraine
26th July - Double Weave and Painted Warp
Remainder of Inlay and Double weave samples were taken off looms and were discussed.
Those that had woven their painted warps bought in completed projects in and these were examined in detail.
28th June - Painted Warp
We painted a warp and weft with great success. The various ways of winding, tying and dyeing to achieve different colour designs and weaving variations was discussed. Lorraine painting and weaving a warp and Gill painting and weaving a weft.
Left: Warp Painting
Right: Painted Weft
Lower Right: Finished Woven Wraps
Saori Woven Wrap using painted silk weft over black wool warp by Gill.
We discussed double weave and our progress but did not remove samples already woven from loom as some members are still playing with this weave.
In April two looms were warped up for Double Weave. One was black and white and the other a range of complementary colours.This is a versatile weave which can provide a variety of cloths - from double width, double thickness, a tube effect, and all sorts of colour combinations by using blocks.
Everyone who has done their samples has enjoyed the double weave. The warp has been left on the loom so those who have not had a chance to do so can try. Ideas of projects have been discussed.
Our focus for the first few meetings in 2016 was Inlay.
At our February meeting
Elaine discussed a variety of inlay techniques with samples to show.
She answered many questions and encouraged all to have a try on the sample loom.
At the March Meeting we discussed the samples on the loom.
The first weaving at the bottom was done by Carolyn. It was decided that this was done too loose and Carolyn was disappointed as it did not get the desired effect with the flowers.
The second weaving was Gill in the cream Gill was making a bag and needed it to be beated tight. This then squashed the Hearts out of balance and should have maybe had a few extra rows.
The third was done by Mwyff. Mwyff started tighter and the when the inlay was added it was looser.
All then come to the conclusion that they did not enjoy the inlay in this way. They all liked the adding into weavings like the Saori inlay.
The simplicity of Rag Weaving was discussed and Gill bought in a loom set up for Rag Weaving for members to try.
Our Rainbow Warp which was completed and removed from loom and given to each participant to take home measure and wash.
July, August, September
Discussion on Heddles, Bobbins, Weaving with tabby, calculating sett have been covered at these meetings.
We also retied our rainbow warp because of looseness and all have now finished their samples.
April 28: Colour. Participants brought in examples of colour combinations they liked, or disliked, and the group discussed what they thought works and what doesn't, and why. When using several colours in a piece, it was agreed generally a good idea to use some related colours – ie close to each other on the colour wheel - and then introduce a feature colour from the opposite side of the colour wheel. Another issue was the proportions of each colour in a piece which looks good. In a painting, photograph or nature it is often easier to pick out the elements which give a lift, or draw the eye. Equal amounts of two or three opposite colours on the wheel are generally less appealing than using different amounts of the colours.
May 26: Designing a warp. We designed a warp for the 8 shaft loom, using a variety of twill threadings. The colours agreed upon were the spectrum of primary and secondary colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, separated by a small black strip. The warp is long enough for each person to weave about half a metre.
June 23: Warping the 8 shaft loom. We will warp up the loom using a raddle. Participants will then weave on the loom, using various weft colours and lifting sequences.
Once we are weaving the group project, in future meetings we will look at: finishing processes – washing, fulling, fringing etc; texture; understanding and analysing patterns; combinations of fibres; collapse weave and whatever else members of the group want to discuss.