Monday, March 16, 2015

Looming Project

 At the start of the month I was invited to give a talk at Metro University for Women's History Month, and the theme this year is "Weaving our Stories." Naturally, I was there to speak on textiles, and on literal weaving. And so, I decided to make it interactive and give the attendees a chance to experience weaving.

I made a very simple frame loom, large enough for two people to stand side by side. This type of loom is commonly called a Tapestry Loom, and the warp will not show on the finished weaving.

I made marks every 10cm, then holding the two beams together I sawed a groove. I found that the only way to get good control was to draw the blade slowly towards me. I then screwed the top and bottom beam (with grooves) to the side beams, and used a piece of 2"x4" to make a base.
 I then warped the loom. Literally...

Usually one would turn around each groove and make a surface of warp threads on one face of the loom. I wanted the loom to be accessible from both sides to allow more people to work on it at once, so I wrapped the yarn all the way around the frame, making a continuous warp on both sides.

The pressure from all this tension, however, caused the loom to twist and warp slightly... oops?
I set up a selvedge to get the project going, and packed all my crummy yet brightly colored acrylic yarns into a bag. The loom will spend the month at the Gender Studies office, hopefully people will get a chance to weave on it, and at the end we'll have a crazy colorful woven fabric!

No comments: