cover of the Summer 2012 issue of The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
page one of my article
I felt very honoured to be asked to contribute to The Journal, especially a topic that is near and dear to my heart. :)
As the population ages, we are going to experience the aches and pains of aging and weaving, unfortunately, is full of repetitive motions. Good posture and motions are critical to staying active and being able to keep on weaving. The younger we establish good habits at the loom, the longer we are going to be able to carry on with the craft that we love.
Whatever loom one has, whatever physical abilities one has, we all must learn how best to use our bodies and equipment in order to keep on being active.
Sitting at the loom seems such a simple thing, but if it is done in such a way as to promote more aches and pains, that can't possibly be A Good Thing!
So! Make sure that your loom bench (or whatever you sit on) allows the 'waterfall' position - hips higher than knees. Sit up on your sitz bones, not slumped back on your tail bone. A slight incline in the bench is sometimes helpful, but otherwise a little padding will also help. Some people like to sit on a sheepskin - I found that too warm. Sit high enough that your elbows clear the breast beam without having to hunch your shoulders in order to throw the shuttle.
At one loom I 'perch' on a high stool that is padded. At the other loom I have a piece of high density foam to cushion my bottom.
It has been heartwarming to have inquiries from guilds to do presentations on being more efficient. Watch the Schedule page on my website for where and when.