Winding a 3 metre warp
Warps for the new year are starting to appear in the studio and learning to wind a warp is the most exhilarating adventure of all.
Yes, pre-wound warps are wonderful but winding your own has the ultimate colour and texture option especially designed with your own mood.
Cheryl has been in the studio learning the process and she learnt the five at once method and the one/one method. There are so many ways to enjoy warping and so many methods. The main thing is that it should be evenly wound in tension, have a least one cross in it to organise the threads and there is a firm choke tie around the 1 -1.2 metre mark from the cross. You should add more choke ties every metre or so especially on a long warp. The route around the pegs must be identical except where the cross is made. No shortcuts here and there. This is for a warp that will be threaded from front to back on the Saori loom. This means the reed is threaded first, followed by the heddles then tied to the back rod and wound (beamed) onto the back beam. Sounds very rule like doesn’t it. But the warp has to be right so everything will fall into place and you’ll enjoy weaving sooner rather than battling. When you start to warp I think it’s a good idea to wind several of them, one after the other.
Cheryl making the cross on the warping frame.
The Saori warping frame with legs is a great height to work with and it is a little different to conventional ones. It has slanted pegs and supports for up to 5 cones of yarn. Sometimes various cones won’t fit on the support and they need to be placed on the floor and the yarn taken up and threaded through the hooks at the top. Yarn must always be free to unreel without any impediment. Cones or kiwaku work the very best.
The Saori warping board has straight pegs and can be hooked onto a wall and will work well too. Cheryl chose a nice mix of straight and textured cottons to work with and carried the colourway to the weft. You can see here the completed weave which really makes a nice story about how the colours start out so raw and separate then become a fused cloth. Woops, yet another life analogy. They’re all over the place. Thank you Cheryl for cheering up the studio and sending on the mission completed pics. Read more
I’d like to wish all readers and customers a very peaceful, health filled and interesting new year. Life can be very hard indeed and it breaks my heart that so many people suffer so much in our world. A friend said to me some time ago that I was lucky I have weaving. And yes, I am lucky to have weaving, but I always weave best when the planet is on its axis and my family is intact and connecting together in life. When this isn’t the case I could nearly break a loom with my heavy beating! Well not really, but weaving sails along better when there is harmony in other areas of life. I know this is an unlikely introduction for a new year but there it is and mostly there is little we can do about most things but just watch situations unfold. Gone are the days when I even pretend to have control over directions in life! Lucky I have weaving and there is some control in what yarns, colours and patterns I can use. I sincerely hope your year is one where things get better and more joyful and create renewed energy and…weaving.
On a lighter note you must check out issue 22 of Down Under Textiles. I’m very happy to be a columnist for this very inspirational mag. This issue holds “Fruits of the Loom’ P12-13. All about my attraction to little weaving which naturally grows into more! Really love writing about weaving and more. Next issue will feature finding your textile ‘tribe‘.
Inspired by Dominique’s towel weaving I got weaving on some of my own. With my stash of 22/2 cottolin I worked up some stripe magic and went to work on the four shaft Saori loom. The loom is perfect for this type of weaving. I used a plain weave threaded over the four shafts. With this type of work I like have the option of four shafts to introduce twill patterning here and there. This is a pretty conventional type of weave but so much fun to do and satisfying to complete and give as gifts.
If you are after some pre-wound warps for a dream run on your loom, check out the new collection in stock. They normally go very quickly as I only get a few of each. The white warps are very nice and perfect for dyers and I’ll be using one to create more freestyle woven shibori. There have also been a few price increases and decreases in the Saori catalogue for 2016. All looms have risen in price, however the cost of the WX60 (unassembled) at $1825.00 will be fixed until the current stock of looms are sold.
Japan Textile Tour 2016
The other very exciting news is that I’ll be leading a Textile and Crafts tour to Japan in September 2016 for 14 days. It will be a comprehensive and rich saturation of Kyoto, Nara, Okayama, Naoshima Island, Osaka and Okinawa Island. It will include three hands-on workshops of which one day is at Saori no Mori. It will be a great mix of the ancient and modern which sit together so easily in Japan. Australian and international travellers are welcome. See here for more information.
Another great workshop completed last weekend and I was especially impressed with the ideas of the participants, including two who had been to the studio previously. Each participant came with such interesting life backgrounds and experiences which I think they imparted directly in their woven cloth. The cloth photographed here is by Caroline. Read more
A few Saori weavers in Australia choose to have the option of the 4 shaft spring system conversion kit. This can be a great choice for many reasons. For established weavers it allows all the patterning options of the classical weaving they love combined with the efficiency, portability, comfort and compact styling of the Saori loom. It’s also the ultimate comfort way to have a 4 shaft floor loom eliminating somewhat cumbersome hand operations of the table loom.
But for some people it is seen as a step further into the wonderful world of weaving. These weavers are new to our craft but are thirsty for more. They wonder about four shafts and what possibilities they are missing.
Having two extra shafts allows more options in how the warp threads can managed so you can weave patterns. Little repeating patterns across the weave and twills are its thing. In contrast to the two shaft loom it naturally wants to avoid freeforming by providing another two options for lifting a warp sequence across the cloth for you. If you want to weave the Saori free style way on it the challenge is to be flexible with the possibility of regularity repeating patterns whilst making good use of those extra two shafts. Although patterning isn’t the only reason you would want a 4 shaft loom it is the main one weavers look to.
This highlights a need for a creative painterly approach combined with a structure approach. A nice combination. You need some extra knowledge about weaving drafts and what might work for the threading and how your approach will bring about a very unique and individual cloth. Four shafts is naturally more complex than two. There is more mechanics and hardware on the loom and more to thread. Read more