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Posts from the ‘Tools’ Category

Removing and replacing a SAORI Inside Set

Inside setsRemoving, replacing and generally just having the availability of a Saori inside set is wonderful.

But the words “inside set” aren’t really descriptive of the function or process of the whole thing. When I first came across this, it was a very new concept to me, at least for a small craft weaver. I know that similar things are used in Asia and have heard of it in production weaving in Europe for saving patterns, but not for us ‘little’ people. It just makes so much sense. No need to buy several looms to run several different warp types or widths to weave when you feel like it. One loom can become many looms.

The main attraction for me too, was how I could use one floor loom to teach others but still do my own work. It really makes sharing and teaching possible where other looms are too dedicated to the one owner weaver. Read more

Question your Swifts

It always seems a battle for a weaver to get skeins to yarn packages and back again. This has been a constant struggle for me over the years mainly because of a lack of variety and choice in coloured yarns for weavers in Australia and the finer yarns I tend to be attracted to. Many of the swifts on the market are designed for knitting yarns that are thicker and won’t tangle as much in the unwinding.

windmill swift

Windmill swift with ball bearings for smooth rotation and adjustable pegs

I have spent many, many 3 hour sessions unwinding a  2/60 hank of silk into a ball which then fails to run and gets knotted continuously when warping. I have tried the little ball winders that are great for 4ply knitting yarn and up – no good. I’ve tried winding cones on my electric bobbin winder – poor. The tension of the wind is also badly affected and leaves the yarn package in a poor starting state for nice loom tension. Read more

Warps on holiday

Dear weavers, don’t you just love a warp going on holiday. The way you can take a warp off the Saori loom, whilst in action, is surely the BEST feature of the looms. The warp pictured has a woven couple of metres in progress but was taken off the loom to make way for another little weave job and ended up travelling away from the studio to another loom…sort of like a holiday for the warp.

Weaving isn’t always the most portable of activities so this option  makes me imagine that weaving has more in common with its extremely portable cousins ‘knitting’ and ”crochet”. Maybe I can join in with others doing their art/craft with my loom. Read more

Cutting edges

The Sakiori (rag) cutter has just arrived and I’m madly stripping all my ‘fabrics to be stripped’ stash. When I first saw the video on how to use it I was wondering if it would be awkward or difficult to manipulate but it really does the work, quickly and with only a light touch. I’ve found some very nice silk scarves in op shops which are magic in the cutter and perfect for weaving.

You just cut a 9 cm wide strip of fabric, any length, then attach the strip to the cutter as instructed. The blade is pressed down on top of the end of the fabric, cutting it into 5mm wide strips. Then the fabric is dragged through the box cutters. Great time saver and easier on the hands than other methods like the ‘Swiss roll’ technique. See this video on how to use the cutter.

Tencel warping

Working with 2/10 tencel and a textured cotton warp rewarded me be a lovely mix ready for threading. It’s 13 metres long which is about the extent of the Saori warping board that I used.  Threading it all up at my table then clipping it onto the loom made it easy, as usual, and the warp wound on pretty nicely too. Now to weave it off.

Sustainable Warps

Sustainability is everywhere..we’re flooded with it….about the only thing that’s not labelled sustainable is employees.

Unfortunately, I’m one of those dinosaurs who thinks that sustainability probably isn’t about buying new products and throwing out the others to landfill (although I am guilty of this). But more about using what you’re got even if you have to think of new ways to use it. Read more

Bring Back Doughnuts for Weavers

The Japanese ceramic weight on the back of the loom

Amanda and I had a actual weekend of weave and this is one of the the beautiful presents she brought with her. A ceramic doughnut shaped warp weight from Japan.When I hold this in my hand I’m sent into another dimension – I think of other people and other times where textile production had it’s own specialised tools also created by gifted craftspeople. Attention to detail, function and beauty. A time or place where where beauty isn’t considered irrelvant, unnecessary, inconvenient, costly, pointless..such as shown in my usual weight which had a previous life as a film canister.Having said this, the humble film canister performs well and I can adjust the number of lead weights inside to suit the situation. But it sure lacks any visual beauty.Now that film canisters can’t be bought, where to now for our odd warp weights.


Amanda believes this indicates the weight. There must be specific weights for different weave/yarns. This one was a bit too heavy for the 2/20 silk ends I was using.













This initially looked like wear on it, but it could be cleaned off. It may be purposely there to provide a grip of sorts. Or it may reveal to someone what it's original function was.