Monday, September 18, 2023



shuttle held 'under' hand

A while ago someone contacted me indicating that since I was an 'influencer' they would like to give me the opportunity to present their products to my 'base' - for payment.

I declined.

This summer I was contacted by someone who wanted me to arrange for them to post content to someone else's blog.  Yes, I knew that person, but I have NO control over what they post on their blog!  They were persistent enough I blocked them.

Earlier this month that same person contacted a friend of mine (how they got my friend's contact info I have ZERO idea) asking them to arrange to get their product mentioned on MY blog.  (!)

First of all, I'm not an influencer.  I don't have thousands of people who follow my blog, and even if I did, I would not be hawking someone else's MLM products on MY blog.  I don't really care how much they are willing to pay me.

If I were an influencer, the entire weaving community would be sitting at their loom ergonomically, holding their shuttle 'under' hand, and wet finishing their textiles.

But they aren't.

I can't even get the entire weaving community to accept the term 'wet finishing' to apply to the process the web goes through the first time it hits the water.  

The weaving community is small, and it doesn't take long for the opinions of one person to percolate down to another.  So it was with a conversation on social media where a 'name' person was asked about the term 'wet finishing', and what was that all about anyway?  

The answer?  The 'name' person mused that they thought it was pretentious.

So, ok, I'll own that.  I'm pretentious.

I'm an advocate for people to understand what wet finishing *is*, why it is necessary, and how to do it.

Do I care that some people consider me 'pretentious' for using the term, for advocating for people to recognize that the process isn't just 'washing' it?  Nope.  Obviously *they* aren't going to be swayed by my opinion.

But neither am I going to be swayed by theirs!

Ditto weavers being aware of working ergonomically.  I've had people flat out tell me that the way they hold the shuttle hasn't injured them.  But here's the thing.  Some people DO get injured, and for them, it matters how they hold the shuttle, how they sit at the loom, that their bench is too low and invites lower back pain.

I hope the nay-sayers appreciate that they have healthy bodies because people like me?  Don't.

I am currently dealing with back issues, not particularly caused by weaving, but by injury.  They are interfering in my ability to weave, and I am hoping the new meds and injection will allow me to keep weaving for a few more years.

But I am firmly of the opinion that had I *not* been weaving ergonomically I would have run into injury long before 40+ years of weaving.

So I will say it again.  It isn't finished until it's wet finished.  If you feel pain while weaving, stop.  Rest.  Stretch.  Do something else that requires different muscles.  Analyze your process, check the bench height, make sure you are sitting hips higher than knees, back straight, up on your sitz bones, not on your coccyx (if you can, not everyone can do a pelvic tilt), and hold your shuttle 'under' hand.  Make your motions small, not large, reduce the wear and tear on your muscles, and if you feel pain...stop.

I will bang these drums, pretentiously, for as long as I can...

Stay safe, healthy and well so you can keep weaving for as long as you want to do so.

Magic in the Water, The Intentional Weaver and Stories from the Matrix  all available here  

Classes online at School of Sweet Georgia and Handwoven


Anonymous said...

Laura, I just want to lighten your mood 😀
I started to weave a year ago on a RHL. In January I ordered the Ashford 8shaft Table loom.
I watched all of Felicia's classes and yours at SOS (not the lace classes yet). You even answered some questions I had.
And of course! I do the wet finishing, as a spinner I know how important that step is.
And the ergonomic thing? I learned so much actually watching you how you sit and thread the loom! With a 'bad back' myself (no idea what's the term in English) I always have to watch the ergonomic, whatever I do.
So thank you for all you tought us!!
And please get better soon.

Nina from Frankfurt /Germany

April said...

Laura, you have influenced me. I have been working for years to get your shuttle-toss method to become my default motion. My left hand caught on quickly, which was surprising to me given that I'm right handed. My right hand is only now becoming adept at the motion. I find it so effective, efficient, and comfortable when weaving. It takes time to have new motions become habit, or default, and I am glad that I have made the effort to develop that skill. I have reduced shoulder strain and increased the length of time I can spend at the loom after applying the principles you discuss. Thank you for putting your thoughts and experience out there for us!

Leticia Booth said...

I have been weaving for all of 6 months so I haven't had time to develop bad habits. Starting with your courses at SOS has helped me start off working ergonomically. I'm not a spring chicken and learned the hard way that repetitive motion can cause serious injury. I had carpal and cubital tunnel surgery to correct injuries from spinning and knitting (,and computer work!) Weaving gives me a chance to work different muscles, and when things get sore or tight, I stop, stretch, and do something else for awhile.

Spinners and knitters have been wet finishing for years. Weavers will catch on! The selling point for me is that my work just looks better after a wet finish!

I just got the Intentional Weaver and have your newest book on my Christmas list.

You're a rock star in the Weaving community. Sometimes haters gonna hate, and they can move along. For me, you're an influencer of the best kind and I'm on team Laura.