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KeepsakeQuilting

Spin Flora not Fauna

I am very pleased and delighted to hear that my workshop is full for the upcoming AGWSD Summer School 2017. This summer school will be held at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, August 13 – 20, 2017.
The Summer School is hosted by the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, UK and is a bi-annual week long event where participants spend their days working in intensive workshops on their passion. Here is a diary of the AGWSD Summer School 2015.

Kukka Transparency Hand Spun Flax

Kukka Transparency Hand Spun Flax

My week long workshop will focus on handspinning flora not fauna – so plant fibres instead of animal. I will try to cover a number of different plants, depending on what will be available at the time. Spinning fibres such as flax, hemp, soya, banana, bamboo, seaweed, ramie, corn, rose.

Over the coming weeks as I make samples, I will try to write a few preview articles about spinning and working with these new fibres.

Spin Flora – Banana Fibre
How to spin using banana fibre.
Sin Flora – Rose Top

Spin, Weave and Knit with Flora

Spin, Weave and Knit with Flora

Handspinning Books

The Practical Spinner’s Guide – Cotton, Flax, Hemp (Practical Spinner’s Guides)
Spin Flax & Cotton: Traditional Techniques with Norman Kennedy

 

Ebay Finds

Apple Green Dyed Flax Linen Top Vegan Spinning Fiber 100 grams roving sliver - Current price: $10.00

Black Noir Dyed Flax Linen Top Vegan Spinning Fiber 100 grams roving sliver - Current price: $10.00

Rosey Red Dyed Flax Linen Top Vegan Spinning Fiber 100 grams roving sliver - Current price: $10.00

Medi Blue Dyed Flax Linen Top Vegan Spinning Fiber 100 grams roving sliver - Current price: $10.00

Butter Yellow Dyed Flax Linen Top Vegan Spinning Fiber 100 grams roving sliver - Current price: $10.00

Starter Pack Dyed Flax Linen Top Vegan Spinning Fiber 100 grams roving sliver - Current price: $11.00

Nalbinding Stitches

Nalbindning, nålbinding
Over the past several weeks, I have been studying how to do nalbinding and the various stitches. I found it all a bit confusing at first, but after a bit of study, I realized that most nalbinding stitches have similarities in their production.

To start, you have to begin with a chain or a circle, such as in crochet. There are many ways to make the beginning chain, using the variety of nalbinding stitches. I found that I was getting hung up on producing the chain correctly, and not progressing much farther than this. I then realized that the beginning chain is just that – a beginning, and decided to not worry how the beginning looked but to move on to work the following rows.
Once you do this, the never ending loops start to make a bit of sense, and you can then see how they are formed.
The first 5-10 stitches in nalbinding never look quite right, as all of the loops that are needed, haven’t been made yet. So continue on and keep working. Eventually it starts to look better, and you can unpick the first few offending loops when the rest of the project has been completed.
Once you have formed a beginning chain, it becomes quite straight forward to continue with the stitching.

 

Nalbinding Start

Nalbinding Start

So – moving onto row 2 where you are picking up and adding new stitches…

There are 3 basic steps to forming any nalbinding stitch.
Most of the nalbinding stitches start with 1 loop on the thumb, and the new yarn is wrapped around the thumb.

Nalbinding Stitches

Nalbinding Stitches

Step 1
Tthe old row where you are picking up stitches from (as in crochet, but working from the left to the right.
The new yarn is wrapped around the thumb.
Working from the Right to the Left
Pick up the new loop from the previous row onto the needle.
Pick up an old loop from the previous row onto the needle.

Pick up Old and New Nalbinding Loops

Pick up Old and New Nalbinding Loops

Step 2
Pick up stitches from behind your thumb.

Nalbinding Loops

Nalbinding Loops Behind the Thumb

These will be the older loops that you have just formed from the previous stitch you created.
The number of stitches that you pick up in this step will vary depending on which nalbinding stitch you are making.
The direction that you pick up these stitches will also vary depending on which nalbinding stitch are are making.

Nalbinding Loops behind Thumb

Nalbinding Loops Picked up behind Thumb

Step 3
Pass the needle through the loops that are still on your thumb.
The number of stitches that are still on your thumb will vary depending on which nalbinding stitch you are making.

Nalbinding Stitches on Needle

Nalbinding Stitches on Needle

Step 4
Pull the needle through all of the stitches that you have picked up, and tighten your yarn.
At this stage, you can also adjust the tension of the stitch if you like.
If you use your thumb as the stitch size, this is ok, but all thumbs come in variety of sizes, so you will have some inconsistency in getting an even and uniform stitch size.
But you can tighten the tension of your stitch, by using the nalbinding needle as your tension guide.

Nalbinding Loops

Nalbinding Loops on Thumb

Form the new nalbinding loop on your thumb.

Nalbinding Loop on Needle

Nalbinding Loop on Needle

Drop the new loop onto the needle.

Tighten Nalbinding Loop

Tighten Nalbinding Loop

Give a bit of a tug to tighten the nalbinding loop, using the nalbinding needle as your guide to how tight the loop should be. It should be snug, yet loose enough to allow you to pull the yarn through. This will help to give you consistency in loop size, much as with knitting needles or crochet hooks, where you work your tension to the size of the needle.

Nalbinding Stitch Summary
There are many good videos on You Tube on how to make the various stitches. I will not be reinventing the wheel, but am providing some links to these.

York Stitch

This stitch starts with one loop on the thumb and the new yarn wrapped around the thumb.
Step 1 Pick up 1 new and 1 old stitch from previous row.
Step 2 Pick up 1 loop from behind the thumb, from the back of the stitch,
so no twist is added.
Step 3 1 Loop is on the thumb.
Pick up the 1 loop that is on the thumb and the new yarn that is wrapped around your thumb.
Pass the needle through all of the loops.
If you wish to tighten the stitch, drop the loop that is on your thumb onto the needle and tighten, before passing the needle through all of the loops on the needle.
York Stitch on You Tube

Oslo Finnish 1+1
This stitch starts with one loop on the thumb and the new yarn wrapped around the thumb.
Step 1 – Pick up 1 new and 1 old stitch from previous row.
Step 2 – Pick up 1 stitch from behind thumb, from the front to the back, and turn your needle so that it point down towards your thumb. This creates a twist in the stitch.
Step 3 – Pick up the 1 loop that is on your thumb and under the new yarn that is on your thumb.
Pull the needle through all of the stitches.
If you wish to tighten the stitch, drop the loop that is on your thumb onto the needle and tighten, before passing the needle through all of the loops on the needle.
Oslo Stitch on You Tube

Mammen (Korgen) Finnish 1+2
Step 1 – Pick up 1 new and 1 old stitch from previous row.
Step 2 – Pick up 2 stitches from behind the thumb, from the front to the back of the stitch. Turn your needle so that it point down towards your thumb. This creates a twist in the stitch.
Step 3 – Pick up 1 loop from the thumb and under the new yarn that is over your thumb.
Pull the needle through all of the stitches.
If you wish to tighten the stitch, drop the loop that is on your thumb onto the needle and tighten, before passing the needle through all of the loops on the needle.
Mammen Stitch on You Tube

Finnish Stitch 2+2
This stitch starts with 2 loops on the thumb and the new yarn wrapped around the thumb.
Step 1 – Pick up 1 new and 1 old stitch from previous row.
Step 2 – Pick up 2 stitches from behind the thumb, from the front to the back of the stitch. Turn your needle so that it points down towards your thumb. This creates a twist in the stitch.
Step 3 – Pick up the 2 loops that are on your thumb, and under the new yarn that is over your thumb.
Pull the needle through all of the stitches.
To start the next stitch, you will need to transfer the most recent old stitch that was formed back onto your thumb, before you pick up the new and old stitches, so that you are starting with 2 stitches on the thumb.
Finnish 2+2 on You Tube

Nalbinding Books
Nalbinding – What in the World Is That?
Nålbindning – The easiest clearest ever guide!
Nålebinding (Danish Edition)

 

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How to Warp a Band Loom

To warp my new Glimakra band loom, I use a method that is similar to the way that I warp my large floor looms, front-to-back. The total length of the band loom is about a meter, a comfortable distance to reach both the back and the front beams of the loom, if you sit on the side, facing the heddles. This will feel a bit awkward at first, if you are used to working from the front beam of a floor loom. But everything is accessible, the front beam, the heddles, the back beam and the pedals. I do find the loom a bit high so that my shoulders get sore while working on it. Sitting on a higher chair such as a dining room chair, or the weaving bench helps to alleviate this problem.
I wind the warp on a warping board. When making narrow striped bands, you do need to change colours frequently, but it isn’t difficult to tie the previous end to the warping peg, and tie on a new colour.
In this simple band, I am using 40 ends of different colours. The draft shows which shaft to thread the yarn through alternating between the 2 shafts, Shaft 1 (Front heddle) Shaft 2 (Back heddle)

Band Loom Weaving Draft

Band Loom Weaving Draft

I have used 8/2 cotton for this band, but you can use any weight of yarn that you wish.
Turquoise Blue 20 Ends
Yellow 8 Ends
Red 8 Ends
Purple 4 Ends
Total 40 Ends
Warp Length: 3.5 Meters (including loom waste)

Band Loom Warp

Band Loom Warp

After winding the warp onto the warping board, I insert the lease sticks into the cross, and remove the warp from the warping board.

I use masking tape, to temporarily attach the warp onto the front beam of the band loom.

Band Loom Lease Sticks

Band Loom Lease Sticks

While sitting on the side of the loom, directly in front of the heddles, I move all of the heddles close to the front. Again, I use a small piece of masking tape on the last heddle, to prevent them from falling off the pegs while I am warping. I start to thread the heddles, working from the back of the loom to the front.
I select the warp ends from the lease sticks and thread each end through the next heddle, alternating between the Front and Back heddles according to the draft. The lease sticks keep the warp in threading order as I warp.
I find it easier to use my fingers to thread the texsolv heddles, rather than using a threading hook.

Band Loom Lease Sticks

Band Loom Lease Sticks

Band Loom Warping

Band Loom Warping

When all of the warp ends have been threaded, I tie them to the back beam.
I use 2 texsolv heddles to attach the rods to the back beam, rather than using the texsolv cord that was provided with the loom. I find the texsolv cord to be a bit too heavy.

Band Loom Texsolv

Band Loom Texsolv

I now remove the lease sticks – they aren’t really needed anymore as the warp threads are all in perfect order. I find it easier to wind on a smooth warp without the sticks.
Again, sitting at the side of the loom, directly in front of the heddles, I hold the warp threads with my left hand, and slowly wind the warp onto the back beam, winding the warp with my right hand. Occasionally I have to stop, and gently comb out any loose ends, and continue winding.

Wind Warp on Band Loom

Wind Warp on Band Loom

Wind Warp onto Band Loom

Wind Warp onto Band Loom

As I am winding the warp onto the back beam, I insert one of the warp sticks with each revolution. This helps to keep the warp tensioning even as you are winding on.

Warp Sticks on Band Loom

Warp Sticks on Band Loom

Once the warp has all been wound onto the back beam, I adjust the warp tension and tie the ends to the front beam.

Wind Warp onto Band Loom

Wind Warp onto Band Loom

As there is no reed on a band loom to help keep an even sett, weaving on a band loom is a bit more free form than weaving on a conventional table or floor loom. I find that it always takes a few inches of weaving, to determine the correct weaving tension in order to get straight edges.

Weaving Tape on Band Loom

Weaving Tape on Band Loom

More About Band Looms
Band Loom Pickup – Simplified
Band Loom Pickup
Glimakra Band Loom Assembly

Band Loom Weaving Books
Tape Loom Weaving… Simplified
Handwoven Tape: Understanding and Weaving Early American and Contemporary Tape
Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving
The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves

 

Ebay Finds

- Current price: $252.69

- Current price: $279.95

- Current price: $625.00

AVL folding dobby loom, 16 shaft, mechanical dobby - Current price: $2,000.00

Old Wooden Sweden tapestry Weaving Loom Glimakra - Current price: $149.00

- Current price: $139.00

Hand Made Etsy Products

Now that I have retired from the world of work, I have become more involved in production weaving. I am also now teaching workshops on a one-to-one basis. Here are some Links to my hand made products on Etsy and workshops that I offer.

Sami Reindeer Leather Braceleets

Sami Reindeer Leather Bracelets


Hand sewn reindeer leather and pewter thread bracelets, made in the Sami tradition.

Reindeer Leather Medicine Bags

Reindeer Leather Medicine Bags


Sami style medicine bags made with reindeer leather, wool felt and decorated with pewter thread embroidery.

Reindeer Leather Keyrings

Reindeer Leather Keyrings


Keychains made with reindeer leather, wool felt and embroidered with pewter thread.

Handwoven Key Fob Wrist Bands

Handwoven Key Fob Wrist Bands


Key fob wristlets hand woven in traditional Sami patterns made with wool and trimmed with reindeer leather.

Hand Woven Wool Throws

Hand Woven Wool Throws


Hand woven wool throws made with hand spun and dyed yarns.

Custom Hand Woven Tea Towels

Custom Hand Woven Tea Towels


Hand woven tea towels using organic cotton yarns.

Rustic Hand Woven Table Runners

Rustic Hand Woven Table Runners


Hand woven table mats and runners made with hand spun wool and linen yarns.

Custom Woven Ribbon

Custom Woven Ribbon


Ribbon, tape, sashes woven on a traditional Scandinavian band loom.

Rainbow Crewel Yarns

Rainbow Crewel Yarns


Hand dyed rainbow coloured yarns in different weights (lace weight, fingering, DK) for crewel work, knitting, crochet, embroidery, tapestry.

Hand Spun Saori Weaving Art Yarn

Hand Spun Saori Art Yarn


Hand spun thick and thin merino wool yarns perfect for knitting or woven Saori style fabrics.

Needle Felted Gnome

Needle Felted Gnome


Traditional Scandinavian needle felted gnomes, tonte, tonttu.

Sun Moon Diary

Sun Moon Diary


Hand felted wool diary and notebook covers decorated with Sami rock art designs.

Hand Woven Linen Sauna Towels

Hand Woven Linen Sauna Towels


Pure natural linen sauna bath towels.

Workshops

Sami Band Weaving Workshops

Sami Band Weaving Workshops


Sami pickup band weaving workshops.

Spinning Soya Milk

Beginner Hand Spinning Workshops


Hand spinning workshop for beginners and intermediate spinners.

Rigid Heddle Weaving Workshops

Rigid Heddle Weaving Workshops


Learn to warp and weave on a rigid heddle loom.

50 Shades of Colour Dye Workshop

50 Shades of Colour Dye Workshop


Beginner dye workshops on how to mix dyes to create colour.

 

Ebay Finds

- Current price: $252.69

- Current price: $279.95

- Current price: $625.00

AVL folding dobby loom, 16 shaft, mechanical dobby - Current price: $2,000.00

Old Wooden Sweden tapestry Weaving Loom Glimakra - Current price: $149.00

- Current price: $139.00

How to Weave Pattern Pickup on a Band Loom

I recently purchased a Glimakra 2 shaft band loom so that I can weave narrow bands more easily. I have been experimenting with how to also weave pickup patterns on this loom.

Band Loom Pattern Pickup

Band Loom Pattern Pickup

Although there are only 2 shafts on this loom, resulting in a tabby type of weave structure, you can also add another warp thread that does not go through one of the heddles. The warp thread rests on the front and back beam and does not move when the sheds are raised and lowered. The extra pattern thread sits in between the 2 threads that go up and down. This makes it possible to manually pick up or raise the pattern thread so that it shows above the ground weave. The pattern threads that are dropped, then move below the surface to the underside of the band.

Band Loom Pickup Shed

Band Loom Pickup Shed

When you pick up these pattern threads, it is important to have a tight tension on the weft, so that the warp threads are pulled closely together, creating a warp faced weave. If the weft is not pulled tightly enough, the extra pattern threads slip in between the background warp, instead of popping up to the surface, or below the ground weave structure.

The extra pattern thread (Blue) is not threaded through the 2 shafts but runs in the centre of the warp threads.
But because I was working with some sticky wool yarn, I thought that I would add another heddle in between the 2 shafts, in order to help separate the warp threads a bit better, to help with the sticky warp. I used the 2 extra posts that come with the loom for inkle weaving, and used some standard length texsolv heddles on these posts. I adjusted the length of the heddles by tying small knots at either end, so that the heddle fits the length of the posts.

Since the pattern threads sit clearly in the centre of the raised and lowered warp threads, it is quite simple to pick up the pattern threads that you want, and then pass the weft shuttle through the raised warp.

Pattern Pickup on Band Loom

Pattern Pickup on Band Loom

Of course, since I am doing pickup weaving rather than simply passing the shuttle through, it is a bit slower going than weaving the standard style of bands. But this method makes it possible to weave intricate designs on the simple band loom.

Band Loom Pickup

Band Loom Pickup

As this is a somewhat sticky wool warp, I open the shed with my fingers rather than beating into place with the shuttle.

Band Loom Pickup

Band Loom Pickup

9 Thread Pattern Block

Warp Length: 2 meters
Background Warp Yarn: 8/2 Wool
No. Ends: 58
Pattern Warp Yarn: 6/2 Wool
No. Ends: 9

9 Thread Pattern Block

9 Thread Pattern Block

Shuttles
Many bands are woven using a small bobbin to hold the yarn, and the weft is beaten down with a band knife.
I prefer to weave with the yarn wrapped on a netting shuttle as this leaves my second hand free to pick up the yarns and the weft can also be beaten with the edge of the shuttle. I like to use a small size fishing shuttle as I find it easier to hold in my hand than the larger Stoorstalka one.

US:
Como 8 Pcs Yellow Plastic Fishing Line Repair Netting Needle Shuttles
UK:
8 Pcs Yellow Plastic Fishing Line Repair Netting Needle Shuttles

Sticky Warp
Woven narrow bands are generally woven warp-faced so the warp threads are sett very close together. When using a wool warp yarn, the wool tends to be a bit hairy and can cause the warp to be quite sticky and almost impossible to change the shed or pass the shuttle through very easily. This can be extremely frustrating.

To help solve this problem, there are a few things you can do.
Extra Lease Sticks
Open the shed and put a stick through the warp, at the back of the loom. Then open the other shed and put another stick into the shed. This helps to separate the warp yarns.

Sticky Shed Warp Sticks

Sticky Shed Warp Sticks

Warp Sizing
There are a number of products that you can use to coat the warp yarn, to help reduce the fuzz and stickiness. You may have to try a few to see what works best with your yarn.

Hair Conditioner
Coat the yarn with some hair conditioner to help smooth the frizziness. I tried the hair conditioner on a small section. I found that it worked somewhat but there was still some stickiness.

Spray Starch
I wound all of the remaining warp on the loom, onto the front beam, and as I rolled the warp, I sprayed the warp yarns with some spray starch. Then I rolled the warp back onto the back beam. I let this dry for about an hour before I wove again.
This seemed to work much better. Next time, I will spray the warp before I wind it onto the loom.

Boiled Flour
Boiled flour sizing will work on both wool and cotton yarns.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups water
Make a past of the flour and mis in some of the water. When the mixture is smooth, add a cup of water and heat slowly. Continue to stir and bring the water to boil. Continue to stir until the mixture becomes pearly and translucent. Add the remaining water, remove from heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. The sizing mixture is ready to use.

Gelatin
2 Tbsp or 2 packets of gelatin powder. (unflavoured)
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup hot water
Soak the gelatin powder with the 1/4 cup cold water until it swells.
Stir in 1 cup boiling water until gelatin dissolves.
Add remaining 3/4 cup cold water.
Gelatin sizing is ready to use.
This sizing can be runny but dries quickly.

Milk
1 pkg instant non-fat dry milk
2 cups cool water
Stir powdered milk into water until well mixed.
Milk sizing is ready to use.
Do not use whole milk as the butterfat can be difficult to scour out.

References: Big Book of Handspinning, Alden Amos

The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning: Being A Compendium of Information, Advice, and Opinions On the Noble Art & Craft

Band Weaving
How to Weave Pickup on a Band loom – Simplified
Glimakra Band Loom
Grene Band Weaving Finish
Beaivi Band Loom Weaving

Band Weaving Books
Some of these books are out of print.
Traditional Finnish Decorative Bands by Theodor Schvindt (English) ISBN 978-952-5774-88-7 available from Salakirjat
Moraband by Barbro Wallin (Swedish) ISBN: 978-01-978632-5-4 available from Zorn Museum
Esti Kirivööd by Piia Rand (Estonian) ISBN: 978-9949-9363-2-8
Lapilised Vööd by Merike Freienthal and Veinika Västrik (Estonian) ISBN: 978-9949-9363-0-4 avalable from Apollo
Patterned Sashes: The Common Cultural Layer by Anete Karlsone, Latvijas Nacionalais Kulturas Centrs, 2014 ISBN 978-9934-528-09-5 (Latvian)
Lithuanian Sashes by Anastazija Tamosaitiene and Antanas Tamosaitis, Toronto:Canada, 1988, ISBN 0-9191187-04-8
Sjnjissjkot ja lahtat Samiska band fran Arvidsjaur, Arjeplog och Mala (2000) published by Sameslojdstiftelsen Sámi Duodji ISBN 91-631-0499-7
Girjjit Samisks vavmonster Karesuando, Jukkasjarvi och Gallivare (1999) ISBN 91-630-9564-5
Haugen, A (1987) Samisk Husfild I Finnmark, Oslo, Norsk Folkemuseum ISBN 82-529-1073-4
Latviesu Jostas Latvian Belts by Aleksandra Dzervitis and Lilija Treimanis
Lithuanian Sashes by Anastazija Tamosaitiene and Antanas Tamosaitis, Toronto:Canada, 1988, ISBN 0-9191187-04-8

 

Ebay Finds

44” Wide Designer Fabric Purple Embroidered Cotton Craft Sewing Fabrics By 1 Yd - Current price: $7.55

43” Wide Designer Blue Fabric Embroidered Cotton Craft Sewing Fabrics By 1 Yard - Current price: $7.55

Embroidered Blue 46” Wide Designer Fabric Cotton Craft Sewing Fabrics By 1 Yard - Current price: $7.55

Brown 43” Wide Designer Fabric Embroidered Cotton Craft Sewing Fabrics By 1 Yard - Current price: $7.55

- Current price: $9.55

- Current price: $9.55

Glimakra Band Loom

The latest loom to enter my loom collection is a 2 shaft band loom made by Glimakra. I like to weave narrow bands using a small, hand held rigid hedddle, but I am hopeful that a band loom will make the band weaving process more efficient.

Finnish Band Loom

Finnish Band Loom

The Glimakra band loom arrived (Ikea style) in a box, as an assortment of wooden sticks and a one page diagram of how to put the bits together.
After a bit of pondering, I sorted the wooden bits into sections.

Band Loom Bits

Band Loom Bits


Band Loom Heddles and Sticks

Band Loom Heddles and Sticks

Band Loom Pieces

Band Loom Pieces

Once I had all the pieces sorted, it was fairly easy to assemble the loom following the diagram provided.
I slid the 2 shaft sections into the 2 center pieces and attached them with the 2 screws provided.
Then I attached the front and back pieces to the side panels of the loom.

Band Loom Assembly

Band Loom Assembly


Glimakra Band Loom Assembly

Glimakra Band Loom Assembly


The foot pedals are attached to the 2 shafts with the texsolv that has been provided, and tied to the side panels with the leather strips.
Band Loom Foot Pedals

Band Loom Foot Pedals


Band Loom Foot Pedal

Band Loom Foot Pedal

My Glimakra Band Loom is ready to go!

Glimakra Band Loom

Glimakra Band Loom

My First Band Loom Warp
I wanted to weave some fine tape for sewing hanging loops for tea towels that I have been weaving.

Warp: 16/2 cotton
Warp length: 2.5 meters
Weft: 16/2 cotton

Red Tape Weaving Draft

Red Tape Weaving Draft

Weaving Red Tape

Weaving Red Tape on Band Loom

Woven Red Tape

Woven Red Tape

Tape and Tea Towels

Tape and Tea Towels

More Band Loom Samples

Christmas Sparkle Band

Christmas Sparkle Band

White and Black Woven Cotton Band

White and Black Cotton Band


Sami Shoe Band in Wool

Sami Shoe Band in Wool

Band Weaving
Band Loom Pickup – Simplified
How to Warp a Band Loom
How to Weave Pickup Patterns on a Band Loom
Grene Band Weaving Finish
Beaivi Band Loom Weaving

 

Ebay Finds

Clover Beading Loom - - Current price: $52.19

Clover 9910 Beading Loom Durable Adjustable Jewelry Making Tool Jeweler Supplies - Current price: $55.96

- Current price: $252.69

- Current price: $279.95

- Current price: $625.00

AVL folding dobby loom, 16 shaft, mechanical dobby - Current price: $2,000.00

How to Warp a Table Loom Front to Back

I find that warping a loom from the Front to the Back, much faster and easier than the traditional method of warping from Back to Front. You don’t need to use a raddle as the reed separates the warp threads evenly across the loom. I use this warping method quite a lot as I often put on shorter warps (5-6) meters and work with wool, linen and cotton threads with setts ranging from 5 to 30 epi.

I do use a Back to Front beaming method and a sectional warp beam if I am weaving with very fine silk threads with +30 epi setts and longer warps (20-30) meters, as these can get tangled while beaming.

You can use the Front to Back warping method on any size of loom – a rigid heddle, or a large floor loom.

Here is how I warp an Ashford Table Loom.

Front to Back Warping 1

Front to Back Warping 1

After you have wound the warp, put 2 lease sticks into the cross, and tie this to the front beam of the table loom.

Front to Back Warping 2

Front to Back Warping 2

Cut the warp ends that are draped over the front beam.

Front to Back Warping 3

Front to Back Warping 3

Sley the reed – Thread the cut warp ends through the reed to the correct sett. In this project I am threading 2 ends per dent.

Front to Back Warping 4

Front to Back Warping 4

Front to Back Warping 6

Front to Back Warping 5

As you thread the warp ends through the reed, lightly tie them in small groups behind the reed, to secure them while you warp.

Front to Back Warping 7

Front to Back Warping 6

Once all the warp ends have been threaded through the reed, move to the back of the loom.
Following the warping plan, thread the warp ends through the heddles.
I usually work with a group of 4 threads, lacing them through my fingers and thread the next set of 4 heddles.

Front to Back Warping 8

Front to Back Warping 7

Tie the warp ends in small groups to the stick or back apron rod that has been attached to the back warp beam.

Front to Back Warping 9

Front to Back Warping 8

View from the side of the loom.

Front to Back Warping 10

Front to Back Warping 10


Once all of the warp ends have been threaded and attached to the back apron rod, you are ready to wind the warp onto the back beam.

Front to Back Warping 11

Front to Back Warping 11

If you are beaming the warp by yourself, you will need to move to the front of the loom and straighten out any warp ends.

Front to Back Warping 12

Front to Back Warping 12

Smooth the tangles gently with your fingers. Once the warp has been smoothed out for the next 1/2 meter, move to the back of the loom.

Front to Back Warping 13

Front to Back Warping 13


Move to the back of the loom again, and slowly begin to wind the warp on, checking for any loose threads.

Front to Back Warping 14

Front to Back Warping 14

After every 3/4 turn, insert a piece of cardboard or a stick into the warp. This helps to prevent the warp yarns from slipping in between each other as you roll the warp. This will help to prevent uneven tension as you wind on.

Front to Back Warping 15

Front to Back Warping 15


After you have placed a cardboard strip or a stick, give a tug on the threads evenly across the warp to ensure that the tension is even.

Front to Back Warping 16

Front to Back Warping 16

Every half meter or so, you will need to go to the front of the loom again, to adjust the tension on the warp, and return to the back of the loom to wind on the next section of warp.
Repeat these steps until the warp has been beamed.

Front to Back Loom Warping

Front to Back Loom Warping

Once the warp has been fully wound on, cut the remaining warp ends and tie to the front apron rod.
Check the tension by gently touching the warp with the side of your hand. Adjust and tighten any loose sections.

Congratulations! You are ready to weave!!

It can be quite tricky to wind a warp evenly on a small table loom. The circumference of the back beam is not very big (as in a floor loom) so it takes several revolutions to wind the warp on. The thickness of the warp grows very quickly, so the warp tension is harder to control. If you use paper as a divider, the edges of the warp can easily slip and drop to the sides of the wound warp, creating uneven tension.In this warp, I have used the cardboard strips that came with the Ashford loom. They are a bit better than wrapping with paper, but the cardboard is a bit soft, so creates some bumps in the warp as you are winding – which changes the tension of the warp.

Bamboo Sticks on Warp Beam

Bamboo Sticks on Warp Beam

Using warp sticks is a better alternative because the sticks are rigid so the warp can’t wedge itself between other warp yarns and help hold the tension better.
Extra long bamboo skewers are great for using as a warp separator on small table looms. They are thin and can easily be cut to fit the width of your loom.

UK:
Marshmallow Bamboo Sticks – Jumbo Sticks’ EXTRA LONG Roasting Bamboo 910mm Sticks / Skewers / Canes + Now 10% FREE (110pcs): 100% Natural Stripped Bamboo, Perfect for Camping or BBQ – 5mm Thick

Weaving Books

Thick ‘n Thin: The Best of Weaver’s (Best of Weaver’s series)
Rep, Rips, Reps Weave: Projects, Instruction, and Inspiration
Fabrics That Go Bump: The Best of Weaver’s (Best of Weaver’s series)
Handwoven Baby Blankets
The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers

 

Ebay Finds

- Current price: $252.69

- Current price: $279.95

- Current price: $625.00

AVL folding dobby loom, 16 shaft, mechanical dobby - Current price: $2,000.00

Old Wooden Sweden tapestry Weaving Loom Glimakra - Current price: $149.00

- Current price: $139.00

Greek Flokati Rugs

A few years ago on a wonderful holiday to Corfu, Greece I purchased a beautiful sample of a Greek Flokati rug. It had been woven by my friend, Agathi the weaver, in Kassiopi, Corfu. She very kindly explained to me how these wonderful rugs are woven. The shaggy weft wool pile was made of handspun wool from local sheep. Her sister had done the handspinning and Agathi woven this fluffy rug that now sits on my rocking chair.

Corfu Flokati Rug

Corfu Flokati Rug

Agathi and Flokati Rug

Agathi and Flokati Rug

The warp and ground weft is a 2-3 ply wool yarn woven in tabby weave. The handspun wool is cut into 15-20 cm lengths and then laid in between weft sheds, going under 3 raised warp threads. A shot of weft yarn is thrown across, change shed, and then the weft pile is woven back through 2 warp ends. This locks the cut pile firmly in place. Then 3 shots of ground weft are woven in tabby, before another row of handspun cut pile is laid across.

Flokati Rug Closeup

Flokati Rug Closeup

Flokati or Floccata rugs have a long history in Greece dating back some 1500-2000 years to villages in the northern mountainous regions of Greece. Sheepskins were used for warmth and the long shaggy pile of sheepskin was duplicated by weavers who inserted the wool locks into their woven rugs. These shaggy pile rugs are somewhat similar to the early rya pile rugs of Scandinavia, but the method of knotting the pile differs. IN a Flokati the cut pile is laid across the weft. In a Rya rug, the cut pile is wrapped and looped around the warp threads.

The definition of Flokati: “A Hand-woven shaggy 100% wool rug made in Greece.”
In 1966 the Greek government set standards for the Flokati rug industry. The law specified that for a rug to be classified as a “Flokati, it must be hand woven in Greece and must be made of 100% wool (warp, weft, and pile). Total weight of the rug must be at least 1800 grams of wool per square meter. The Flokati must be subjected to the water friction process for the pile to unravel and fluff out.

Flokati Rugs in Greece

Flokati Rugs in Greece

Spindle Spinning

Spindle Spinning

In the 1960’s Trikkala was the centre of the flokati rug industry and the wool market was held there in May and handweavers came from surrounding villages to buy their fleece, weaving tools and cotton yarns. There was a factory headquaraters in the centre of town where wool was carded and spun by machine. Weavers wovek the rugs in their homes, workig on narrow looms, threaded with singles yarn. The tufts were inserted without knotting at irrgular intervals. Because the looms were small and the woven rugs were thick, they had to be cut off the front roller of the loom frequently. The pieces were stitched together to create the larger rugs.

Trikkala Wool Market

Trikkala Wool Market

After weaving, the rug was heavily felted by heavy beating and immersion into pools or waterfalls. The flokati rugs were woven in natural white or alternating striped natural colours of browns, greys and creams. Natural dyes were also used on some of the rugs.

Flokati Rug Sample

I had about a meter left of wool warp on my loom after I wove a number of handspun blankets, so I thought I would try to weave a bit of Flokati.

Using the same wool yarn as was used for the warp, I wove several shots of tabby weave.

Cut the handspun yarn into 15-20 cm lengths. I cut a piece of cardboard into a width of 10 cm and wrapped the handspun around it. Then cut the lengths of pile.

Cutting Flokati Pile

Cutting Flokati Pile

With an open shed in tabby weave, lay the cut pile ends across the weft, passing each thread under 3 raised warp ends. Repeat this across the width of the warp.

Flokati Rug Weaving

Flokati Rug Weaving

With the same shed still open, weave across a shot of the wool ground weft.
Change the shed.

I like to work from the right to the left, so I pick up the right side of the cut warp pile, and feed it back through 2 warp ends to the left. Repeat this across all of the handspun cut pile.

Laying Flokati Pile Across Warp

Laying Flokati Pile Across Warp

With the same shed still open, weave across a shot of the wool ground weft.
This locks the flocati pile firmly into place.

Weaving in Flokati Pile

Weaving in Flokati Pile

Weave another 2 shots of ground weft in tabby.
There will now be 3 shots of tabby weave between the row of pile.

Lay in another row of cut pile across the width of the warp as above. Each row of pile should be about 1 cm apart, with 3 rows of ground tabby.

Flokati Rug on the Loom

Flokati Rug on the Loom

I will be weaving this Flokati rug sample with different types of handspun wool, to see what works best.

When it is complete, the rug will be fulled by washing and beating in the bathtub, to fluff out the pile.

…. MORE TO COME SOON…

References:
CIBA Review 1969/2 Greek Contemporary Handweaving

Where the Greek Flokati Rug is King Chicago Tribune, Apr 4, 1976

Agathis
Agathi, a wonderful and talented weaver I met in Kassiopi, Corfu

Corfu Spindle
Learning to spin on a Corfu style drop spindle.

Ebay

 

Ebay Finds

- Current price: $252.69

- Current price: $279.95

- Current price: $625.00

AVL folding dobby loom, 16 shaft, mechanical dobby - Current price: $2,000.00

Old Wooden Sweden tapestry Weaving Loom Glimakra - Current price: $149.00

- Current price: $139.00

This page last edited on July 10, 2016

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