Janet Major

 sustainable styling, sustainable textiles

 

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Weaving

For many years I said 'I am not going to learn to weave'.
 

This bag is the reason why I DID learn to weave. I went to a workshop led by the very talented and experienced weaver Kath Allen who like me was a member of Alsager Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. It was to be a 4 shaft weaving taster day, when we were not using a loom we were going to weave a bag round a cardboard box to make another bag.
 


The genius thing about the day was that Kath had warped the looms and arranged for us to weave in a honeycomb pattern. The nice thing was we weren't bogged down with the mechanics of setting up the loom, we were using quality yarns and seeing some of the potential of a 4 shaft loom. ( the weaving round a box was also successful but allowed us to chat as well. Given that we always had an incredible shared lunch on workshop day as well it  was a brilliant day.)
So in fact I wove a short depth of a good width for the pattern and just loved the effect. My mind was thinking  about all the things I could do with fabric that I wove myself. If could already knit any fabric I wanted ( virtually) and with. Loom I could sew with my own woven fabric too.
So I turned the sample into this silk lined evening bag and treated it to a lovely clasp and to this day I treasure it. (The waste weaving  formed the top of each side.)
My next step was to get a rigid heddle loom so I could learn things like warping, choosing appropriate yarn for the fabric needed, how much to beat down and the important technique of getting good edges - the perfectionist in me!

 

My first scarf woven on my Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle Loom. I used many textures of yarn in both the warp and weft.


There is more about  rigid heddle loom, which I still use and love, here.

When I retired I treated myself to a floor loom and a small sampling hand loom that I could transport to meetings, workshops etc.
So I am now the proud owner of two 8 shaft looms. The floor loom allows me to weave material that is about a yard wide. Wide enough to make clothes from and not so wide that the actual process of weaving is a chore, I didn't want my shoulders to give up at this stage. The material for the skirt on the website front page was actually planned to be a handbag! Now I am pleased that I wove plenty of cloth as this is the best winter skirt I have ever made and as I wear it I can visualise the sheep in Shetland that provided the wool.


I have now woven more red and black material - in a different pattern so as time allows the handbag will eventually be made.

My floor loom - weaving the latest black and red handbag material (this has used all 8 shafts). The loom  is a Schadt Mighty Wolf which I love!

                             



You can find out more about weaving on a shaft loom here

There are other looms of which I use an inkle loom which you can find more about here and a weavette or pin loom which you can find out more about here

My favourite weaving accessory: the pirn winder - such fun to make the little bobbins for the weft

My most important tip: Label everything you do, with as much information as you can ( there are templates available for this - so that you can repeat exactly what you have done in a sample.

I am still adding more information here  and I regularly blog about current projects.

Individual or group teaching; demonstrations, talks, presentations and workshops available.


 

 

janet major carleton rode norfolk 07990 702223     info@janetmajorimage.co.uk