Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blue Towels

blue/grey towels on loom

close up showing Wall of Troy and straight twill threadings

A few posts ago Sharon commented on weaving being a whole body experience. This is something that new weavers don't understand at first, especially if they have only woven on narrow warps.

The wider the warp you have on the loom, the more you need to use your whole body. Perfecting throwing and catching technique will allow a weaver to weave quite wide warps. How wide depends on the individual's body - how long their arms are for one thing. :)

The motion for throwing the shuttle is such that the weaver needs to shift their body weight onto the right hip when throwing the shuttle from right to left then onto the left hip for when throwing the shuttle from left to right.

The torso pivots around the centre of the body leaning slightly to the right to throw with the right hand, leaning forward slightly as the shuttle traverses from right to left and leaning slightly to the left to catch the shuttle and grab the beater. As the beater comes forward, the body rocks slightly backwards as the feet change position on the treadles.

And so the cycle begins again.

It is a very good idea to learn how to sit up on the hip bones and not rotated back on the coccyx so that this range of motions can happen with the least amount of stress on the body.

It is a good idea to tone the abdominal muscles - the core muscles as they are sometimes called - as having good strong core muscles will help protect the lower back muscles from strain.

Review the video clips (click on the Video Clip tag to the right or the label below) showing weaving to help see what I mean.


Sharon said...

I love it that you display a boat shuttle. Years ago I read you somewhere saying that an even selvage comes when you get your rhythm. I want to learn that skill without the lure of perfect selvages from end feed shuttles. It was refreshing to see your shuttle.

Laura said...

I learned how to weave with a boat shuttle, learned how to control the weft with my thumb acting as a brake, and find that I can vary control on the weft as required.

e.g. for the hems on these (and other similar towels) I lay the weft in differently than I do for the body of the towel.

Too long to go into here, but it's all about control.

(Control freak? MOI?????)


Stephen said...

Laura, Can you share the type and size of the yarns you are using here. The picture of the yarns in your earlier post seem much smaller than the ones in this photo on the loom. Curious mind...


Laura said...

Hi Stephen,

The warp here is 2/16 cotton with 22/2 cottolin weft. Epi is 32.
Hems are being woven with 2/16 cotton.

This is my favourite fibre combination for towels. A friend tells me that this combo is the 'best' in her extensive tea towel collection.

It is also the most effectively absorbent of the various fabrics I tested for absorbency.

Click on the Absorbency tag for the stats.