Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Beginning Weaving

The weft yarn (in green) crosses over
& under the warp yarn which is held
taut by a frame or loom.

Woven cloth is created by crossing two sets of yarns perpendicular to each other. One set of the yarns are called the warp and the other set, which crosses over and under, are the weft (see diagram). When the row of the weft is pushed up against the previous row a solid woven cloth is created. This is achieved with a comb on a basic loom, and with an integrated beater and reed on more sophisticated looms. 
This basic loom has a guide to keep the threads of the warp yarn
evenly spaced.  The comb is used as the beater.

The reed is a guide used to separate the warp threads and to beat them down once they are woven.  Pictured left is a reed from a rigid heddle loom which has a heddle combined with the reed.  The warp is threaded through the holes so that when the reed is lifted within the heddle block, the warp threads separate creating a space for the shuttle with its weft yarn to pass through.  This space is known as the shed and repositioning the heddle creates different shed and therefore different patterns in the weave.  

Table looms have a frame, from which the heddles are suspended. The warp is threaded through these heddles which are then attached to one of four shafts which can be lifted together, in pairs or indepently to create a shed for the weft yarn to pass through.  Additional shafts are added for for more complex patterning.

Simple weaves can be achieved using a tapestry frame and on the mini loom and are an economical method of learning the basics of how to create cloth for table runners, clothing accessories and soft furnishings.

The Schacht Mighty Wolf floor loom, this model incorporates
eight shfts operated by treadles which lift the heddles to
create the weaving shed for complex weaves
Visit the website to see the full range of weaving tools and yarns >

No comments: