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Growing of Weaving

Learning to weave

Jodie weaving herself into the loom

Yesterday was coding and upgrading time. It’s not something I do everyday and it isn’t always without issues so I dance around the necessary job, cleaning the house more, weaving more, emailing more – anything to prevent the upgrade happening. I guess everyone is the same.

I recently read that most people feel besieged nearly 100% of the time.  I always thought the object was not to feel like that so now I’m thankful that I only feel that way about 95% of the time and have more admiration and understanding for the rest of you! It seems that most workplaces add to that feeling of besiegement, of being under attack, so once again weaving, feeling creative and sharing this activity in a positive healthy way becomes more than a ‘hobby’ …perhaps a necessary activity to save ourselves.

For me weaving is so much more than all of that and as handweaving and interest in constructed textile making is growing I’m delighted that so many younger designers are taking up the passion.

rf - Saori weaving

Rowena delighting in the fine essence of her chosen yarns for weaving

Weaving costs next to nothing to do and the simplest of looms are being used to explore and create in the most vocational of crafts.  In the 1980s, when I started weaving on frame looms I mainly did large wall hangings in natural and naturally dyed wool. Every row was a delight as it still is. I sourced fleeces, often at the farm gate, then spun them up and dyed them with copious amounts of brown onion skins from the local green grocer. At one point, alongside the buckets of nappies, I had buckets of bark soaking ready to use as a dye. There’s no need to do that now as so many yarn sellers are bringing new fibres and yarns pre-spun to our door. Fibres that aren’t grown in Australia and we hardly knew existed are now available in many ways. It’s easier to visualize more textures and ideas with the availability. Little changes create new ways and reasons for doing things.

rw Saori cloth

Rainie’s gentle cloth

The other development in how younger weavers entwine their creative time is the Internet. Most of the weavers who come to the studio have an established profile or internet presence already set up to sell their creative work, alongside their jobs and professional lives. They may have an established like minded network with others though Instagram or Facebook. Some have Etsy or Big Cartel sites established. Less often there is a blog as that seems to be another style of writing and is more popular with people like me who have been on the Internet before its commericalisation and massive one-click social media options. I continue to maintain my blog as the front space of my retail site for a big long list of reasons which I won’t bore you with…at the moment. A blog is harder work and RSS feeds to blogs aren’t as effective as link throughs to social media any more. So a blog is now a less networked pursuit, and not as effective for promotion, except as a home for your profile. The opportunity to earn some income is important to younger women (and older ones!) to maintain their independence amidst the many roles women must play in their lives and the Internet offers that potential. Flexibility is essential for women to flourish, in my opinion. For this reason some knowledge of coding and developing media is twinned with our making.

hm Saori handwoven cloth

Rich greens and a hint of ikat yarn for Holly’s first Saori work

Over the last month, I’ve had a few weavers in my studio exploring handweaving on the Saori looms.  Each one of them was totally passionate about yarn, fibre, and texture and looking to create textiles that would work for clothing designs.

Check out some of their sites:

Unusual Pear, and her shop.

Hollin Textiles  and Holly’s collaborative Fibre and Social Sustainability site with Claire Lock. A Thoughtful Thread.

And the amazing High Tea with Mrs Woo.

A very warm thanks to Jodi, Rainie, Holly and Rowena. I can’t wait to see what is next for you all!

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Holly #

    What a lovely, thoughtful post, Kaz! I had such a wonderful time that day, and look forward to exploring more Saori weaving with you in the future. Thank you for linking to my sites as well xx

    June 9, 2015

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