Creating Cloth: A new experiment

The art studio is a total mess. I can barely walk into the space without stumbling over something or an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia. Yes, the clutter and bins of wool have become too much! Ok, part of the problem stems from still trying to finish off the downstairs. Mudding, sanding and eventually texturing is a horrible job and one not to be doing when the weather isn’t great. We seem to finally be warming up again and venting to the outdoors is a possibility. As the house projects continue to bind down my space with the extras, I’ve jumped to another project that can be accomplished outside the studio. The art of weaving on a table loom has commenced!

I’ve never woven anything except little grade school projects. With all the wool around the house, I knew it was only time before a loom arrived in hopes of utilizing handspun yarn. This loom, a Nilus/Leclerc 4 shaft table loom, is on loan from a friend. Rather than jumping right into using my wool, I purchased cotton 5/2 string at the Eugene Textile Center last fall. To learn weaving (thank you YouTubers), I jumped in with a specific project for a niece who was married last fall. Maybe experimenting with a new artform isn’t the best idea for a wedding gift, but things are actually going quite well. They chose colors of blue, green and gray and I chose to create a table runner for their new home.

Thread on the warping board

First decision, after the colors, was how long of a project I wanted to create. I picked 3 yards total for the warping board. Next choice was how much to wind on: between the thread diameter and the heddles available, I determined it would be 360 threads total. Wowza! That’s quite a few to wrap and eventually string through all the heddles and reed! The full process took me about a week of work from start to finish. I had to re-sley the reed about 3 times before everything was correct. Now it’s just down to creating the fabric.

Below are some photos of the process. It’s a bit much to explain everything, but you can at least see some of the process. I’ll post the finished product once off the loom and washed.

metal heddles waiting to accept the warp thread
Pulling the warp onto the back
Attaching threads through heddles and tying a slip knot in each 1 inch bundle
the clean shed (space between the sets of threads)
Spacer yarn and the start of the first true weaving.
Weaving in process.

Thanks for spending a little time with me. More projects to come…. whatever they might be! I’m already figuring how to create waffle weave towels and loads of other designs.

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

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