Tag Archives: warp

L is for looms for weaving

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LYou might be surprised to know that you don’t really need a loom to weave, or at least not a conventional one.

You just need to be able to put a set of vertical parallel threads (the warp) under tension, so that you can ‘weave’ other threads, of any material, horizontally – ‘under and over’ them – (the weft) – to form a piece of ‘material’ that will remain in place and can be used as a wall hanging.  Common yarns used are wool, cotton, linen, silk or a mix of any type of yarn

There are all kinds and sizes of looms that can produce all kinds of cloth, which can be taken off the loom and used to make braids, straps, clothes, blankets, rugs, carpets etc.

warp & weft in a plain weave

warp & weft in a plain weave

This diagram is just to show the basic weave, and the warp & weft.

Most yarns can be used for the weft, but only yarns that will take the tension without breaking can be used for the warp see here.

There are many other types of patterns that can be woven, and more complicated looms that can allow you to weave these, but the basic loom can be as simple as two lengths of wood.

Women_weaving_in_Beni_Hassan_tomb_(Вертикальный_ткацкий_станок_Египет) Flax was the predominant fibre in ancient Egypt (3600 BCE) and this is a picture comes from a wall on a tomb from this period.

You can see that one length of wood was fixed to the wall, and another weighed down by a sack on the floor. The warp seems to be being held under tension by the two weavers, who would be passing the weft yarn across the warp to each other, using shuttles that have been wound with the flax – the cross beams in the diagram.

f6b6dacfb8b3681be4f1316c0c2d7dd3This simple method is still used for weaving ‘Persian’ carpets.  This is a specialised type of ‘tapestry weaving’ using single knotted threads to make very complex patterns – the loom is enormous and is hung from the ceiling.

matchbox weaving from http---marisa-ramirez.tumblr.com

matchbox weaving

On the other hand, you can just as easily make something small like this – using a matchbox as a loom, and piercing the cardboard to create the warp.  The wood from a picture frame also makes a basic loom – just choose your size of frame and warp it up!

52b1593d3590c4645fb3a067ea0f939bSome beautiful wall hangings can be made with very simple looms, and if you really want to play with weaving ideas, you can try this kind of set up for weaving anything from plastic bags, to lengths of  tree bark, adding embellishments like lengths of ribbon, beads knotted onto the threads, un-spun wool fibres tucked into the weft – the world is your oyster – and yes you can use shells too!

woman working with a backstrap loom in Guatemala

woman working with a backstrap loom in Guatemala

Another fascinating ancient  weaving method is the backstrap loom, where you actually wear the loom!  The warp is attached to a tree, or something stable, and to keep the tension up, the weaver wears a belt around the back of her waist.

She sits on the floor so that she can move further away from the fixed point when she needs to extend the length of the woven piece, thus keeping the warp taut.

If you would like to make your own backstrap loom, I found a really good set of instructions here.

A Picanol rapier loom

A Picanol rapier loom

So how did we get from these easily understandable looms to this industrial monster!  To be honest, I’ve no idea, but this is how most cloth is woven industrially – I can’t see a single  person in this shot!

ALL THE PHOTOS IN THIS POST HAVE BEEN PINNED TO MY WEAVING IDEAS BOARD ON  PINTEREST.

If you click on any image on the board, you will see that below it, there is usually some text that tells you where the image came from. Click on the text to see the full article and credits. I have not had room to add them all here.  There are also loads of other weaving ideas on this board – feel free to browse – and to copy them to your own board – and by following links to other weavers boards you can access loads more information and inspiration!

HAPPY WEAVING!

newz from julz: yarns for knitting & weaving

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scarfcopysThis post is written as a checklist for the latest newz from julz update, which goes out to all the customers on my mailing list – its easier to put the pictures and links on this blog, where they can be seen clearly, than try and put them all into an email.

I sell in the UK and WORLDWIDE

Anyone who reads this can join the mailing list – please go to the shop talk page, where you will find a form to fill in.  newz from julz updates are sent out when there is new stock or other useful information, and are not available unless you are on the mailing list, which has nothing to do with following this blog! If you want to know more about any of the yarns on this page, clicking on any warping yarn picture will take you to the ‘slideshow’ of these yarns and if you then click on the underlined caption, it should take you to the current listing.  Clicking on the pictures of the novelty yarns will take you to the listings directly. Of course anyone is welcome to buy anything they see on any of the sites I sell on – links to my etsy shop, my folksy shop, and my two sites on ebay, are underneath my photo on the right hand side.  If you are not registered on any of them, you are welcome to buy direct.

warping yarns for weavers

Warping Yarns are particularly strong and can take the strain of being the “vertical yarns” on the loom, as they are kept under tension whilst the cloth is woven.  They can also be used  for the weft – ie: you can weave with them – and for crochet and macrame. You can also knit with them.  Many knitters are so used to small balls of knitting yarn, that they don’t realise that you can knit straight from the cone – just put the cone in a bag or basket to keep it clean and allow the thread to be easily drawn. When you click on the pictures below, some of them will take you to julzweaving on ebay, and others will take you to julz craft supplies on etsy.  That does not mean that they cannot be found on the other sites, but as ebay listings don’t last as long as the etsy ones, I have used the etsy site for listings on ebay that are near to their end date. NB:  the links are current at the date of posting, but may not work in a few weeks time – that does not mean that I don’t still stock them – see below!

novelty yarns for textile arts

sample pack of tu-tu yarns

sample pack of tu-tu yarns

Anyone with an eye for unusual ideas and novelty yarns to experiment with will enjoy these ‘Imagine’ and ‘Tu-Tu’ yarns – but they may take some getting used to! Samples are available on request, and there is a particular sample pack of 4 colourways of Tu-Tu which is also listed.  If you would like to request a variation of colours, please ‘buy’ the pack and send me a separate request for the specific colours you would like in the pack.  (There are numbers on the banding that you can use for reference.

*tutu yarn mixed

hanks of multicoloured tu-tu yarn

You can actually knit with these, and create ruffles within your pattern, and there are links to free patterns on the listings, on both etsy and ebay – all of these are currently listed on both sites, clicking on these pictures will take you to one or the other. You can also use them as eyecatchers by weaving bits of them into your work, adding them to needlework and sewing projects and incorporating them in any any collage or textile art project.

hanks of single colour tu-tu yarn

hanks of single colour tu-tu yarn

Similarly unusual, and useful for art work, are the imagine yarns, which have been created to be used to make things like scarves without knitting them! They comes as ‘tubes of webbing’, and there is a link on the listing to a video that shows how to make a scarf in a few minutes.  Buy a hank and see what else you can use these for!

These listings have expiry dates, and the links may not work in a few weeks time, but I will have stock of most of the yarns shown on this page on a regular basis, so if you cannot find the listings, please use the form on the contact me page and I will send you the link.

hanks of 'imagine' yarn

hanks of ‘imagine’ yarn