Wednesday, April 24, 2019


People don't realize just how physical weaving can be.  This morning I read about another weaver being told of muscle tears.

Repetitive motions can cause injury.  If someone weaves like the above mentioned weaver or me, the risk of injury increases as we age.  I have been forced by my overall health to start slowing down.  Having a drug that caused muscle pain and weakness just made it even more obvious that I needed to dial back the effort and hours at the loom.

With my music/dance/sport background, I came to weaving understanding my own body and able to self coach myself into 'better' more ergonomic movements.  But no matter how ergonomic those motions, keep doing them - usually in the face of a looming deadline (sorry/not sorry about the pun) - and the weaver risks setting up inflammation.  If the weaver continues to weave, they risk injury, such as muscle tears.  So why do we keep on?  Because we have always previously been able to keep going with little to no effect other than feeling a bit more tired, a bit more achy for the long hours at the loom.

When I advise people to wear some sort of protection on their feet beyond socks, I get a chorus of "NO!  I have to feel the treadles!"  Or variations thereof.  In that case I tell people, don't weave for long periods of time or you can set up inflammation in your feet and recovering from inflammation in the foot is particularly hard because we still need to walk.

So today I step up onto (one of) my soapbox(es).

Sit in the 'waterfall' position.  Hips higher than knees.  Sit forward, perched on the edge of the bench, on your sitz bones, not on your tailbone.  Engage your core muscles to protect your lower back.  Sit straight, not rounded through the upper back.  Sit high enough that when you are in the waterfall position your elbows clear the breast beam.  If you don't you will hunch your shoulders and then the shoulder girdle and neck muscles can spasm.  And believe me, that is no fun at all.

Soft tissue injury can take weeks to heal.  If you want to keep weaving, take rest breaks.  Do stretches.  See a deep tissue massage therapist to help release any muscle spasms.  Pace yourself.

Steps off soapbox...

Chart courtesy of a website that provide free educational materials.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Thank you for the helpful information. I will pay more attention.