January 10, 2008

Weaving

I'm going to weave the rest of this day. Monte bought me this Swedish Glimakra loom nine years ago for Christmas. I need to finish the wool lap blanket I'm weaving so we can move the loom. I think I can finish it today if I get at it!

This loom is 54" wide. I wove our bedspread, which consists of three panels and a crocheted edging. I've woven many table runners, placemats, rugs, dishtowels, and material to make clothes and purses from.

I have several looms and we're going to have them all in one room. I have a 36" Schacht loom that can fold for traveling. Both of these looms have 10 foot peddles. I can weave very intricate designs with them.

Rug looms used to be shared in communities. We came home one day to one of these old rug looms sitting in our driveway. We were going to fix the loom (it was unusable with the wood needing fixing and rusted metal parts needing replacement), but have given it away.

These old looms typically only had 2-4 foot peddles which means they could only do a plain weave. I have a rigid-heddle loom that'll weave only plain weave, though the project looks can greatly alter with color and unique materials.

I've demonstrated weaving (like I demonstrate spinning - I wrote of in the Distaff Day post). Most kids have woven pot-holders (these are still my favorite pot-holders, and now that my kids are grown, I'm going to have to weave my own). Pot holders are a plain weave - alternating the 'over-under' of each row.

My 'weaving talk' helps people understand what weaving is versus knitting, etc. I use examples of things they are most familiar with. Sweaters and socks are knit with spun fiber. Jeans are wove with a 'twill' weave, which is a diagonal repeat every three threads. Then to mention that we're buying sheets these days with a 300+ thread count. I typically weave with 10-20 threads per inch and can't imagine threading 300 threads per inch for the warp, and then to have to weave that same amount per inch for the weft!

A fun history tidbit is that in days of old some tablecloths were wove with an asbestos fiber. They could simply put the cloth in the fire to clean.



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