Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Avis Shares Weaving Basics Plus Videos

Avis Peterson

Avis has graciously agreed to tell us a little something about weaving.  Thank you Avis!


Weaving Basics:  Weaving is a method of making fabric by intertwining of threads in opposite directions. Two distinct sets of threads, called the warp and the weft, are interlaced with each other to form a fabric. The warp threads run lengthwise in the piece of cloth and the weft threads run across from side to side. The loom is dressed with the warp threads passing through harnesses (two or more). The warp threads are moved up or down by the harnesses creating a space called the shed. A shuttle carries the weft through the shed. By lifting the warp threads in specific sequences you can create many possible weave structures.

Fabric texture is obtained by changes in the thickness and smoothness of yarns/threads for example, satin bed sheets and rag rugs.  Fabric diversity is also limited by the type of weaving loom.  There are looms you can use on your lap, floor standing looms, table top looms, machine driven looms, and hand manipulated looms.

Features of looms complicate the weaving process as well.  The tightness of a weave structure depends on how far apart (side to side) the warp yarns 'sett' in different sizes of reeds (the part that manages alignment of yarns.  In order to make weave structure the loom may include harnesses that lift specific yarns up and down when passing the weft yarn between between an open 'shed' (the space between stationary and lifted yarns.)

How flowing the 'drape' of the fabric becomes is determined by the weave pattern and threading of the 'heddles' of each harness.  Twill drapes nicely and the diagonal weave pattern allows the flow of fabric or stretch/give of fabric.  Examples of twill fabric are gabardine, denim jeans, or tweed  The most basic twill weave is two threads in one direction, crossed over by a single thread in the opposite direction. This gives the weave its characteristic design, although the weave can be far more complex depending upon the degree to which the weaver wants a design in the twill to show.

Hobby weavers often have 'favorite' weave and fabric structures that vary from towels, rugs, delicate scarves, wall art, blankets and more.  Their library of patterns books and storage of yarns and threads are expansive.  Wool, cotton, linen, silk and bamboo are quite different in hand and weaving performance.




video 

Winding treads on the warping board (which is strapped to the scaffolding, a benefit of living in a house while still in construction). From the warping board, the big long 24 feet of threads (in order of vertical stripes) are dressed onto the loom (photos). 
When warping the threads on the warping board (pegs), there were some 400+ threads, each 24 feet long.




video 
 Winding the bobbin (for the shuttle) using the drill motor (bobbin winders cost about $100)

From the warping board, the big long 24 feet of threads (in order of vertical stripes) are dressed onto the loom (photos).   *Seen on post here



video

The actual weaving video. Stepping on the treadles raises a harness creating a 'shed' which is where the shuttle travels through, then that weft thread is 'beat' against the previous weft threads comprising the fabric. There is a great rhythm in this weaving sequence, very relaxing.
Be sure to visit the other post on Avis showing photos of some of the steps and finished tea towel that she gifted me with:  
Such a Talented Lady!
Cheers,
Avis Peterson



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