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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Rus Kaftan Update – weaving, finally.

May 9, 2012
Here is a magnified artsy closeup of the point diamond twill weave of rus kaftan cloth.

Its been a few weeks since I last posted.  I was at the part of the project that wasn’t terribly exciting.  I finished threading the loom.  That took about 6 days of working a few hours each evening.   Then came time to beam the warp. Oh.  Em.  Gee, guys.  What a pain! It took me and my helpers (four of them!) about eight hours over three days to beam this thirteen yard warp.  Remember…

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Rus Kaftan Cloth Project Progress

April 22, 2012
Single repeat of the W-17 draft from Birka III.

To find and read all the entries for this project, you can go here. In the last week, I’ve made some important decisions to the plan for weaving the Rus Kaftan cloth and made quite a bit of actual progress on moving the project forward. The first thing I decided to do was to make the warp narrower and longer.  This decision was predicated on the desire to reduce loom waste and to make it a…

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Wooden trenchers

April 19, 2012
Wooden artifacts from the Oseberg finds.  Photo © Cambridge University Press 1979

This week, we started  making wooden trenchers based on ones in the Oseberg grave finds.  I don’t have a lot of information on the extant trenches like size and the type of wood from which they are made.  We are just going off this one picture I was able to find. In the wood shop, we had some nice 5/4 X 9 inch fir boards that were bought for a different project and never used.…

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Rus Kaftan Cloth – Measuring the Warp

April 15, 2012
Warp chains for the Rus Kaftan cloth

Started measuring the warp threads for the Rus kaftan point diamond twill cloth today.  I am 1/3 of the way done, as I took long breaks to teach a friend some beginning lampworking techniques and to brainstorm viking age food options for some upcoming reenactor events. I’ve decided to weave at a 37 inch width rather than the full width of my reed.  I hope it will reduce the time needed for threading and also…

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Linen towels – washed, dried and hemmed.

April 15, 2012
The finished linen towels after weaving, washing,drying, pressing and hemming.

After I cut the linen warp off the loom and cut the towels apart, I hand washed and air-dried one of the towels to see how it would react.   That came out well, so I screwed up the courage to throw all the towels in the washing and drying machines.    They came out well!  The weave and the fiber relaxed into a nice drapey hand. Next step was to press them and hand…

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End of the line for the linen weaving project

April 12, 2012
End of the line for the linen towel warp.

Finished up the linen weaving project tonight.  Seven loom-controlled-lace  towels complete!  They are cut apart, the edges sewn and ready to be washed tomorrow. After that I’ll hem them by hand and they will be ready to use. Its hard to believe that this project was started just a week ago.  What a fast, fun experience.  I really enjoyed weaving with linen and I can’t wait to do another project.  So many plans in my…

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