Monthly Archives: December 2012

Rus kaftan cloth – wet finished

December 31, 2012
Red warp /light brown weft

Yesterday, I pulled the Rus kaftan cloth off the loom.  There is something so lovely about an armful of handwoven yardage. I prepped the cloth for wet finished by pulling out the float warps (I use fishing line), checking for snags, and snipping off loose threads.  I cut a piece off to save for my weaving notebook and tossed the entire lot into the washing machine.   A few of might be horrified to know…

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Patterned gauze weave – warping the rigid heddle loom

December 31, 2012
The heddle has been completed threaded and I've tied onto the front apron bar.  On a rigid heddle loom, its VERY important to tie on with your heddle in the "UP" open shed position.  This allows the threads in the holes to be slightly longer then the slot threads in order to create a shed.

I spent a good portion of yesterday on the rigid heddle loom, measuring the warp and warping the loom.   I am indebted to the information contained in Betty Linn Davenport’s invaluable book “Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving“, without which I would probably still trying to get the patterned gauze sample on the loom. The key piece of information I learned during this process is that when tying on, the heddle has to be in…

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Patterned gauze weave – Choosing a direction

December 29, 2012
Patterned gauze weave – Choosing a direction

It immediately became clear, upon graphing the gauze weave draft, that the rigid heddle loom was going to impose its own limitations upon this effort.  Not having any direct experience with weaving with a rigid heddle, that had not occurred to me until that point. Each line in the paper pattern at right represents 4 warp threads.  My rigid heddle is 10 ends per inch and is 21 inches wide, giving me a maximum warp…

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New weaving project – patterned gauze weave

December 28, 2012

I’ve a friend who studies the Scythian and Pazyryk cultures and she introduced me to a book from an Abegg-Stiftung exhibit in 2001 called “Fabulous Creatures from the Desert Sands“. The book details woolen textiles from the tombs of Shanpula in Xinjiang, China.  Textiles range from gorgeous polychrome horizontal tapestries, to pile rugs, to wide, multi-strand flat braids used as flounces on skirts to embroidered textiles and my current obsession, hand-manipulated lace cloth. I’ve been studying…

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Completed! Rus Kaftan cloth

December 25, 2012
Completed Rus kaftan cloth on the loom.

I am so pleased to have completed the weaving of the Rus kaftan cloth warp.  Started back in April, this cloth posed unexpected challenges and new learning opportunities. The finished woven length is 11 and 2/3 yards.  I had hoped to make 12 yards even, but that was not to be as one of the sheds became too narrow to throw even my low profie shuttle through it. Through out the weaving, I consistantly struggled…

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Moshchevaya Balka

December 22, 2012

Found a great stash of amateur photos from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg of the “Moshchevaya Balka: A Monument to the North Caucasian Silk Road”.  These photos appear to have been taken by a russian historical reenactor. You can look at the pictures here.  Enjoy!  

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Progress Weaving the Rus Kaftan Cloth

December 19, 2012
Changing weft colors.

I have completed weaving eight yards of the madder warp/brown weft combination.  That is enough, I feel, to make the Rus kaftan.  The rest of the warp is being woven with a higher contrast light brown/old gold weft.   I have set a goal to have finish this project on the loom by the end of the year. This project has been quite challenging and not very fun as evidenced by the many months it…

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