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The Amazing Jacquard in MELBOURNE

I’ve just returned from the adventure of a weaving lifetime. I’ve been to Melbourne (the style and textile capital of Australia) to explore Jacquard weaving. Louise Lemieux Berube from the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles gave a workshop at the RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles to a group of exhilarated weavers.

Aside from breathing in the creative and vibrant atmosphere of Melbourne itself and especially the college, I was so pleased to meet other weavers and young textile designers whose passion and fresh approach to textiles has encouraged me greatly. Just imagine, I was talking to other people about tie-ups and treadlings…and they undertstood what I meant! I love the way weavers are problem solvers and the ways they co-operate with each other, sharing their knowledge and ideas. Weaving and textile construction is fraught with creative problems AND possiblities. I think the best way to explain my adventure is with a few photos…

A magical room full of looms at RMIT in Melbourne
Digital dobby looms
Melbourne Street Art
The Purse – made of granite! Melbourne’s Street Sculpture
The almighty Jacquard
The prime movers for the RMIT Jacquard Workshop, Rachel Halton, Louise
Berube (Tutor) and Pat Jones
The lovely group of keen Jacquarders
Examining the cloth. This was the rewarding fruition of our very intensive
week of designing on the Pointcarre
The back of the Jacquard showing the threading
Previous week’s jacquard samples My purple and yellow Jacquard brocade sample on the loom – woven face down. It was very exciting seeing the jacquard weave on the samples.
Photographic imagery.
One of our first lessons involved the preparation of a photographic image
with good greyscale graduations. This was done in Photoshop. In the Jacquard
software – PointCarre – each shade of grey was associated with a different weave that approximated the shade. Essentially ‘painting’ with weave structure. Here one shuttle of weft can be used to create the various weave structures across the web of the warp. No pick up is required as the Jacquard loom allows manipulation of every thread individually and can prepare the shed in any way.
To achieve something similar on a dobby loom many, many pick ups in every row would be required. However, there are possiblities in combining some of these ideas with warp/weft painting and well planned design and pick up.
Image with twill structures applied.
10 Comments Post a comment
  1. I am so jealous!

    What type of jacquard looms were you working on?

    March 12, 2008
  2. Hi Patrick. The loom was an ARM?? I was so impressed with the loom I didn’t really bother to find out its maker! But that’s something I should follow up on.

    March 12, 2008
  3. Wow – Melbourne sounds like a must-visit destination for weavers. I am always amazed at the visual power of jacquard images and your examples really show it off well.

    March 12, 2008
  4. Wild, thanks for sharing.

    March 12, 2008
  5. Kay #

    I wonder if the Arm you refer to is the Swiss company – Arm AG? [See BB Yarns in Brisbane [] imports their 35cm-long boat shuttles which are a dream to use.

    March 12, 2008
  6. Very interesting. I’ve never actually seen a Jacquard loom before. I have to admit it would intimidate me a little! But I am fascinated with what it can do.

    March 14, 2008
  7. I arrived in Melbourne on the day you posted. We stayed just around the corner from RMIT. It was an experience to be able to watch the sculpture students from street level. I haven’t had a chance to post about my trip yet but its coming. Thanks for sharing your trip

    March 21, 2008
  8. Hi Karen,
    Amazing where and when worlds intersect. Its so nice to see pictures of RMIT and the Melbourne weavers. I wish I could have been there to see you again also.

    May 5, 2008
  9. Sandra #

    Hello Karen, do you know where in Melbourne I can order a special design of jacquard or damask or brocade? Or where is the cheapest place to let somebody weave the design you want?

    March 28, 2012
  10. barry revill #

    I used to make the pattens for the looms at Warhafts factory , Huntingdale, during the 1950’s. Regards, Barry Revill

    January 17, 2013

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