Friday, 8 May 2015

Weaving for the first time - Part 1

This year, the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel is celebrating its 350th anniversary. My department's contribution to the celebrations is to build a replica megalith grave outside one of the canteens. This reflects the department's longstanding interest and experience in excavating this monument type in the local area.

As part of the celebrations, I was asked to set up and run the department's warp-weighted loom, as a demonstration of prehistoric technology. With the help of my students in Textile Archaeology course I'm running this semester, I have been setting it up over the last month. Here are some pictures of the process.

The kit:

Loom elements leaning against the office wall
There are in fact uprights for two looms here. The box contains the warp weights and some spindles, which we will also be using on the day. Photo (c) Isabella von Holstein 2015.
Setting up the starting border, which is tablet woven (not a Neolithic technique, but oh well):
Construction of the tablet-woven starting border
Nerd details: 12 tablets, turned 10 forward then 10 back. The pattern is threaded in, and the simplest possible. The yarn is a 75/25% wool/polyamide mix. Photo (c) Angelika Woehler-Geske 2015.

Measuring out the warp threads by stretching them around the legs of an upturned table
Yes, that is an upturned table we're using the measure the warp threads. Each weight has 10 loops attached to it at this stage. Photo (c) Angelika Woehler-Geske 2015.
The starting border is now attached to the top bar of the loom:

The starting border bound to the top bar of the loom with the warp threads suspended
The yarn is looped around and around the top bar, every 4 warp threads. Photo (c) Angelika Woehler-Geske 2015.

Go to Part 2 or Part 3