Tuesday, March 3, 2009

People Really Do That?

Last fall, at a New Hampshire Weavers Guild meeting, I asked a group of 50 weavers "Do people really do that?"

What was I curious about?

I'd heard rumors online that weavers cut off the first part of their warp, and finish it, so they can see how what they're weaving will turn out.

I just wanted to double-check to make sure that weavers I know in real life actually use that technique. (Not to insult any of my online weaving buddies!!! I appreciate all of you more than you know!)

Marjie happened to be hand-hemming some towels. She gave me the loom waste created by cutting off the first towel of her warp.

Several people reassured me that I will love being able to test the way my warp comes out without losing its even tension.

The warp for my huck towels is more than long enough for the towels I want to weave. This is a great chance to try cutting off the first one. Plus, so far these towels are looking more like broken window screens than what I picture huck cloth should look like. Some finishing is in order so the yarn will shrink and become cloth.

At the end of my first towel, I wove a little bit extra in plain weave, inserted an old dowel from down in the basement, and then wove a bit more.

I coated the plain weave with Sobo glue - although Elmer's works fine also from what I hear.

I left it to dry overnight.

I cut next to the glued section and freed my towel from the loom. (Hard to do while photographing your cutting hand!)

I lashed the woven-in dowel to the front apron rod, and resumed weaving. Easy as pie.

It really is one of those tricks that sounds scarier than it is.....much like cutting steeks in a sweater. (Maybe I'm secretly afraid of scissors?)

I promise I won't blog about it every single time!!!

I'm eager to see what the washing machine does to turn this towel into cloth!!


Janice Zindel said...

Hi Sue,
Though I refuse to use glue on my weaving/warp/loom, I regularly remove towels or runners that are woven and do the finishing process (wash/dry, hem, press) on them while continuing weaving the remainder of the warp. I enjoy seeing completely finished pieces while still weaving, especially those where I've been experimenting and they are turning out better than I hoped. I just re-lash or re-tie the warp on.

Janet said...

Hee hee hee... this reminds me of when my Mom was first learning how to weave and I described this trick to her over the phone. I don't know if I omitted an important detail or if she just didn't absorb everything I said, but somehow she missed the bit about weaving in extra weft to apply the glue to - she just glued her bare warp threads! Then, thinking that looked awfully unstable, she applied masking tape to the top and bottom of her glued threads. Pretty sure that's what she said she did, anyway - whatever it was, it worked just fine!

Incidentally, Madelyn van der Hoogt demonstrates this trick without using any glue - she just weaves a somewhat longer stretch of header before putting in the rod (an inch or so, I think?) so that there's enough fabric to hold it in place without needing glue.

I'm with Janice, though: I just re-tie each time. Doesn't take me long to tie on and by the time I'm cutting off my tension has usually gone a bit pearshaped anyway. Besides, I hate it when my weft gets tangled up on the ends of the front rod so I'm loathe to add yet another rod to the mix.

Life Looms Large said...

I didn't really like having glue near my loom - and I did get a stick from the basement in case it got glue on it - so I hear you on the "no glue near the loom" thing!

I just measured and the loom waste I got tying on the front of the warp was 8 inches, while the loom waste where I inserted the stick is less than 2 inches. And it's less work to use the stick.

But I do feel like the tension on the other side of my stick isn't as good as when I tie on the loom. (Probably I'm not as good with evening out tension when I lash on.)

The cool thing about trying this stick trick is that now I won't be afraid to use this method, or just cut and re-tie in future warps....and both techniques are definitely valuable in different cases!

It's good to hear about other people's preferences about this!!


Anonymous said...

Peg posted a neat way of doing this in a series of three posts starting with this one. I have never done anything so adventurous - I just hack away with the scissors and re-tie!

Theresa said...

I've never done this, but I'll certainly file it away should I ever need to do something like it in the future.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Cally beat me to it. But the two-stick heading she referred to is wonderful. Part of the decision whether to use sticks or retie depends on the warp. 60 or 72 ends per inch on a wide warp, tied in 1/2 inch groups....sticks definitely preferred. 10-20 epi in an easy to tension yarn, it's a toss-up. I am glad you tried this one-stick because now you have another useful tool in your toolkit.

charlotte said...

Thank you so much for sharing this technique. I have just seen the the result of the glueing , but I have never been shown how to do it. The towel looks wonderful!

sheilabythebeach said...

Being such a newcomer I sure haven't heard of this technique!! Somewhere down the road I'll probably give it a try, oh in about 5 years probably!
Lovely weaving also...

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