Monday, December 14, 2020

Reading Drafts Part XII


Complete Book of Drafting by Madelyn van der Hoogt
Handloom Weaving Technology by Allen Fannin
Weaving and Drafting Your Own Cloth by Peggy Ostercamp

This will be the final post in this thread of books which morphed from 'reading drafts' to 'books in my library'.  It's a baker's dozen (one post was not numbered) of the type of thing I value enough to a) purchase b) keep on the shelves of my 'library' c) refer to often enough to want at my fingertips.

The books I shared in this series comprise perhaps 50% of my library.  The rest are more focused in their approach - books on colour/design, draft collections, general 'pretty' books for inspiration, more industry/technical tomes, anything else I find interesting.

When wanting to read a draft, the first thing is to understand what a draft is, what the information contained in a draft represents, do drawdowns to make sure you are understanding the information as presented.  Being familiar with a number of 'basic' weave structures will help to slot new information into the mix.

Above all, read the beginning bits, where the author will generally say what the symbols in their drafts represents.

There is nothing like the weaving community for splitting hairs.  Well, maybe every craft is like that.  Certainly weavers are masters at it.

But the thing is - when you know more, you can better understand the craft.  When you know more, you can modify your understanding of the craft.  Or you can keep a closed mind and not learn something new.

There are some things that are perennial occasions for opinions to be aired, some people will give the 'it depends' qualifiers, others will huff and puff about 'tradition' citing 'hundreds of years' when weaving has been happening for thousands.  And things evolve.  Knowledge grows (one hopes!)  Attitudes can change.

Just a for instance...

When I purchased my AVL Production loom with fly shuttle and auto cloth advance, I was informed by a string of people that I could no longer call my textiles hand woven.  They did not accept that I was still coming up with the concept, working out the details, dressing the loom, threading each end, sleying it, pegging each bar (doing the tie up) and throwing every single pick.  But in their minds I was no longer 'hand' weaving.

Ditto when computers came along.  Double Ditto when computer assist was introduced.  All within the last 40 years.

Going back further?  The development of the fly shuttle in the 1700s.  The development of the Jacquard/punch card looms.  Well within the 'hundreds of years of history' someone was gnashing their teeth over.

If people want to master the craft of creating cloth, an open mind is necessary (in my humble opinion of course!)  Remember that the only correct short answer is 'it depends', that the 'correct' answer is most likely not short and usually defined by the very specific circumstances in which the question arose.

Change one thing and everything can change.  A good teacher will tell you where to look, not what to see.

Happy weaving!

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