Friday, December 21, 2012

The Loom

 

After my last post, (where I was so happy to get such positive feedback on reuniting with my loom - thank you!) I was asked by several of you to share photos of the loom, so I am :)

(Oh, and please forgive the lighting quality, I have been busy with outside commitments and the days that I have had a chance to be home, have been a bit overcast. Plus, I realize now that I should have taken a few more photos to better illustrate my post, but alas, I didn't and must make do with what I have.)



Okay, here is the loom... it is a 26 year old, 4-harness Artisat Leclerc jack floor loom, given to me all those years ago by my parents, as a graduation gift from art school. (By the way, no textiles were taught at this school, and all my teachers thought I was nuts to want to pursue weaving... and quilting hadn't even occurred to me at that point.)


The "jack" part means that on this type of loom the harnesses are lifted or pushed upward when the foot peddles, (or treadles, as they are more accurately known as) are stepped on. The 4-harness part refers to how many harnesses or shafts there are on the loom. Each harness is filled with wire heddles. When you warp the loom you place the warp threads through the slots in the reed, and then through the holes in the middle of the heddles. The design of your weave pattern is based on what thread goes through which heddle, on which harness, and which foot peddle/treadle that harness is tied to, and in what order you treadle those foot peddles!

For example, if you wanted to weave a simple plain weave, (over one, under one...) on a 4-harness loom, you would thread your warp threads through the slots in the reed, and then you would thread the first warp thread through a heddle on harness #1, your second thread through a heddle on harness #2, your third through a heddle on harness #3 and your fourth thread through a heddle on harness #4. Then you would repeat the process... 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4, and so on and so forth. 

You would tie harnesses #1 to the first foot peddle, harness #2 to the second peddle, #3 to the third peddle and #4 to the fourth. Then when you were ready to weave you would step on peddles one and three which would lift harnesses #1 and #3, creating an opening or "shed" that you would pass your shuttle through, (the shuttle holds the weft which is the thread, yarn, or in this case cut up fabric that you weave with). After each pass of the shuttle, you beat the weft in place with the beater and the reed. Next you would step on peddles two and four, thus lifting harnesses # 2 and #4, throw your shuttle, and beat the warp into place. 


Repeat that above process over and over and you get cloth!


And then you can keep the cloth whole, or cut it up and make things,  like this pincushion... of which I had hoped to make a whole bunch of before Christmas,  but so far this is it. 
Better one then none, right?!

And speaking of Christmas... may you have a blessed one. May you find yourself in the warm embrace of family and friends. May your hearts be filled with love. May peace and goodness rain down on you and yours. xo

25 comments:

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Victoria! I'm always so happy to see your wonderful header! Thank you for a great post! My mom used to make rags, table cloths, shawls etc. and I tried few rags, too. It was so much fun and when I started I didn't want to stop! Lovely and unique idea to make pin cushions and other things!
Merry Christmas! x Teje

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Happy holidays to you too, Victoria!

Diane J. Evans said...

What beautiful results! Looks as though a person might need a small addition on her house to give one of these babies a home. But what fun!

A very merry Christmas to you and your family.

Diane

Corinnea said...

That's gorgeous! Both the loom and the cloth. Thanks so much for sharing!

Clare Wassermann said...

Thank you that was very interesting - what a beautiful gift it was too! Happy Christmas x

Svetlana said...

simply amazing!!!! Merry Christmas.

mandi said...

Wow! You are so talented- I mean really! Love that you know how to do this!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!

ArtGirl said...

this is SO COOL! your photos are wonderful, especially how you put the names of things onto the photo. thanks for explaining the process. makes me want to get a loom!!

Nifty Quilts said...

Your cloth is as beautiful as your quilts! It must be a lot of fun getting in the rhythm of weaving and using your whole body this way. I hope you get lots of time to weave and sew this holiday.

Jacky said...

Oh that pin cushion is a delight. I love your weaving, and thanks for sharing a bit of the process with us.
A friend has an old handmade loom she is going to teach me to weave next year. Your gorgeous colours have inspired me!

Jacky xox

CitricSugar said...

Merry Christmas and peace to you as well!

That fabric you've made is so beautiful… That was a fanastic grad gift and it sounds like it's made you very happy over the years. Any tool that helps an artist be creative is a good one.

Diane said...

lovely fabric you wove and that is just like my loom :)

Kathryn said...

Your work is always stunning and your explanations are the best out there (you're still the master at explaining the bojagi technique, how I found you in the first place)! My mom's loom in FL is waiting for me to take it to CA one day. One day but this certainly makes me think about it!

Jenny M said...

I hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family. Wishing you a wonderful new year filled with love & joy.

Stephie said...

I think there's already a link between the patterns of your mug coasters and your quilts...

Your description of the process is wonderfully clear, thank you! I tried spinning recently, but I don't think it's 'me', but your description of weaving makes me think I'd enjoy this very much! I'll have to look out for an opportunity to have a go :) Happy New Year and happy weaving!

Stephie

PS does the loom make a noise as you weave? I hope it does; something rhythmic would be so restful...

Victoria said...

Thanks to each of you and Happy New Year, too!

Stephie, Yes, it makes noise. Especially when raising and dropping the harnesses. The whole process is very stress relieving, between the rhythm of the weaving and the beating of the weft in place... wonderful feeling!

Sarah said...

WOW! Thanks so much for posting this information. It's fascinating!!

Sherri ~ daintytime said...

beautiful loom. is weaving as addictive as quilting :)

trish said...

Oh how gorgeous!!

Victoria said...

Sherri, yes, as my yarn pile continues to grow and grow, I would say so!

Kim Lapacek said...

So excited to find you! One of your blog followers mentioned you when they wrote about their project quilting quilt they made this past week for my blog. Anyway - I just got my godmothers loom and my goal for 2013 is to get it warped and to have some fun! Your posts are inspiring me! Thanks :)

Victoria said...

Hi Kim, that is so very special to have a loom from your Godmother. Hope you enjoy it very much!!

Printingtextil Natasha said...

Love it! I always want to do this!

Nina said...

Hi! I just got a loom and can't wait to try it. I remember seeing this post a while back and I was wondering what thickness fabric did you use for this weave? Thanks!

Victoria said...

Hi Nina, Congrats on getting a loom! I pulled from my quilt stash for this project, so all of the fabrics are standard quilt weight. I think most of the fabrics were from the Aunt Grace's line, (Marcus Brothers Fabrics).