Monday, January 8, 2018

Many Ways

Making textiles.  Many ways to do that.  So long as you are getting the results you want, you're doing it 'right'.

I've banged on and on about beaming under tension.  Some people agree, some don't. 

The above is a photo of a warp being beamed in a mill in England.  This beam is an interim step to get the yarn from the cone into a format where it can then be transferred to the actual loom beam.  My thought is that this very large beam helps even out any little discrepancies that may happen in the actual winding process.  The warp is wound under high tension here, and then again onto the proper beam.  No, this is not a spool but a full sized beam for a full sized loom.  It can hold many hundreds, maybe thousands (depending on thread thickness) of warp.  The end flanges are probably close to a yard/meter, possibly more.  It's been a while since I've seen one in real life.

In order to open a shed in a loom, the warp pretty much has to be under some tension or else the threads will cling to their neighbours and not open cleanly.  How much tension?  Depends.

Industrial looms weave under much high speeds than a hand weaver - one reason why I maintain that hand weaving, by its very nature, is automatically 'slow cloth', regardless of the equipment one uses.

There are many many videos now on You Tube, all showing tiny little differences - sometimes a great deal of difference - from each other.  As long as the weaver is getting the results they desire, they are not wrong.

Industrial looms have no warp packing, BUT! the warps are wound under high tension.  There is no slack anywhere in that warp for the threads below to shift or move to allow upper layers to cut down into lower ones.

So, some people advise to use warp packing.  I use it on my smaller looms, but not on the AVL where I generally beam sectionally - or if I wind the warp chain onto the sectional beam directly, the sectional dividers act like little flanges to keep the threads from moving.  Plus, the tension.  Again fairly high, depending on the length.

But I have seen looms with no warp packing.  Again, beamed under high tension and sometimes with the width adjusted so that the selvedge ends gradually move closer to the centre so that the warp package on the beam is sloped from the outer edge inwards  /_____\ (with the horizontal line the surface of the beam).

I have seen looms with no beam at all.  The warp was simply wrapped around a heavy weight like a big rock and suspended from a hook or rod in the ceiling or over the top of the back of the loom.  The suspended rock held the tension on the warp so the shed would/could open.

Currently reading Let Darkness Bury the Dead by Maureen Jennings


Peg Cherre said...

I always warp under tension, thanks to you, and I always pack my warp. But after that, I have developed my own ways of dealing with my lease sticks, and of threading. It's a process that works for me, despite that fact that most weavers I tell about it find it crazy. That's what it's all about - use the knowledge and tools you have, and modify them as appropriate for your personal style, your equipment, your time, your talents, and your end results. If it works, keep doing it, despite what others think. If it doesn't, make modifications until you get the results you want/need without using excess resources - time, energy, body movements, or fiber.

Laura Fry said...

Precisely! :)