Friday, 8 May 2015

Weaving for the first time - part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here:

The final preparation stage was to set up the mechanism for changing the shed, that is bringing all the back threads forward and through the front ones to allow the weft to pass. To do this you have to individually attach each back thread to a heddle bar, which is fiddly:
Photo (c) Isabella von Holstein 2015
We have 340 warp threads in total, so we had to tie 170 warp threads to the heddle. This took 3.5 hours, with four of us taking turns. OK, so we are probably slow because we are not experts, and were not rushing, but still.

Now the heddle is in place, it means you can do this, which moves the two warp systems through each other:
Heddle bar back. Photo (c) Isabella von Holstein 2015

Heddle bar forward. Photo (c) Isabella von Holstein 2015
The weights make a lovely soft clicking sound when you move the heddle.

If you put a weft thread through the gap between the warp threads between each heddle movement, this happens:
Weaving! Photo (c) Isabella von Holstein 2015

You can see from the irregularities in the pic above (both the gaps in the warps and the unevenness in the weft) that we are not experienced at this, but we are still rather proud. :)

Next week for the live demo by the megalith! I think that simply getting the loom out of my office, down the stairs, and 300m across campus is going to be the hardest part...