Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Noise...

Am steadily working my way through the red/blue warp. It is now officially more than half woven. :) This is a shawl woven with 2/10 black Tencel in twill blocks. The ribbon you see pinned to the cloth is one of several I have in various lengths. Rather than use a tape measure, I bought some hemming tape in different colours, cut them to various standard lengths, and pin them to whatever I'm weaving to measure the length I want. For shorter lengths, I'll program the actual number of picks but for longer lengths, like shawls or scarves, it's just as easy to measure with a cloth tape.

About noise.....

Some looms, like the Leclerc Fanny (and almost every Louet loom I've woven on) are very quiet. With the Fanny all you really hear is the slight clatter of the metal heddles as the shed is changed, and the low whump of the beater as it strikes the fell. Not even that if the weft is being placed, rather than beaten.

Other looms, like my AVL, are extremely noisy - unless you weave v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-ly. Since I'm trying to earn money by weaving, I don't have the luxury of weaving slowly/quietly.

When I got my AVL in 1984, I realized that it was much noisier than any loom I'd woven on before, partly due to the sharp clatter of the plastic pickers on the fly shuttle, partly due to the larger sized everything - more shafts, bigger beater and so on.

At the time, Doug was working for an industrial supply house, with a particular interest in safety equipment. He brought home a set of ear muffs, specifically for high impact hearing protection.

Eventually I got headphones so I could listen to books on tape or music, but always rated for high impact hearing protection.

During a recent discussion on a chat group I belong to about wearing hearing protection, one weaver commented that after weaving on her AVL for 20 years - without ever thinking about hearing protection or wearing it - she now has 50% hearing loss.

While we all have to make choices, and ultimately it really does depend on how much you weave, if you have a large AVL at least thinking about hearing protection would be a good idea. Especially if you are a young weaver with many years of weaving ahead of you.


Christy said...

Very interesting about the noise level of different looms. I've only used 2, one is an old handmade loom: very loud, and the other is a baby wolf: less loud comparatively, but still not what I'd like. I did look at a swedish loom someone was demonstrating on, with non-metal heddles and an overhead-mounted beater--it was so quiet! I've been wanting one of those ever since.

Glad to find your blog!

Laura said...

I had to wear hearing protection when I wove on a Baby Wolf. The noise grated on my nerves, if not my ear drums! :) But I weave fast, letting the shafts drop with a great clatter....



Peg in South Carolina said...

The fabric you are weaving is gorgeous. The Nilus II by Leclerc, which I weave on, is also fairly quiet. Can you imagine a studio with multiple AVL's all being woven on at the same time?!