Tuesday, 2 March 2010

doing things in the correct manner

hey! guess what!

pretty much everything i've been doing so far as weaving goes is grossly inefficient!


i kinda figured that would be the case

so far i've learned better ways of making the warp, better ways of putting lease rods into the warp while it's on the board, better ways of stretching the warp, better ways of packaging the warp for transport, better ways of winding the warp, better ways of threading the heddles, better ways of sleying the reed

at some point in the future i'll probably attempt to illustrate these methods in a comprehensible manner, though i find it difficult to imagine i could reasonably expect to show anyone how to use a warping rack consisting of two levels of yarn alternating 1,2 in an up, down manner in order to make a cross between thumb and forefinger for ease of quickly putting onto a warping frame. not without standing there and making sure. it looks like magic when an experienced weaver does it, until you figure out how it's done and then it's just a simple movement of the hand combined with a certain physical standing in relation to the warping board

christ, the dog's farting, bring on summer and i can open the windows :P

oh yes, away with the warping paddle, it is not necessary! but keep hold of yours till you figure out how to do without. and this new method of warping makes things a great deal quicker. like, it used to take me an hour or two to make a 200 end warp, and if i wanted to do it with multiple threads at a time i had to do it a silly finickity way and even then i'd often end up with twisted bunches and a generally unusable warp that'd have to get chucked in the bin. and now i know how to blatantly make a simple 1000-end warp in an hour or so in a reliable manner that doesn't make me look like some kiddy that disnae ken what on earth he's doing and is just makin it up as he goes along

also, i've spent a bit of time staring at the mechanical dobbies here (which are at least 100 years old) and i'm totally convinced they could be built by any competent metalworker and carpenter. it may even be possible to replace some of the metal parts with plastic and fabricate them in 3D printers

on the other hand, computerised shaft selection may be a lot simpler, in terms of readily available technological resources. like, i'm surrounded by computers and software geeks all over the place, but i've only ever met one blacksmith

anyway, hooray for learnin things from a man that's been working in the industry for 40-odd years!

very good.



Anonymous said...

I do like it when you post. I love your writing style and your adventures in textile studies are engrossing.
Wow, if you get a chance to post a how to on what you learned about warping, it would be simply wonderful. But your studies must come first!
Best wishes

Dorothy said...

Sounds like you ARE in the RIGHT place to be!!

We have a local blacksmith, he's always very busy with long waiting lists as his work is very good. However, not all metalwork needs a forge, there's a lot you can do with a welding kit and in Derbyshire we have adult education classes in welding.

However, old mechanical dobby looms often come up for sale quite cheap as not many people have space for them, so when the day arrives that you get your studio make sure it has a high ceiling!


Sounds like I shoulda tagged along with you LOL.. I'm glad your learning, growing and having fun!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that must be great to watch a real expert at work and learn the tricks firsthand! It seems that in every endeavour human beings will come up with ways of doing things that are just a bit quicker, a bit less effort... Weaving has been around so long but has changed so much - it would be dreadful if all those centuries of development were lost because no-one learns the secrets any more.

Dorothy said...

Have you seen Stacey Harvey Brown's video on you tube about her Jacquard loom?
It came from a mill in Galashiels. I think if I was offered a choice of an old dobby loom or an old Jacquard I'd chose the dobby as I'm not interested in figurative patterns. Will you get to use one of the dobby looms?

humblebumble said...


we're using dobbies just now. that's what we start on. using eight shafts. isn't it wonderful?

yes, i know, it is isn't it?


the jacquard is a different beast i think. i don't really want one. take too long to set up i'm told. i like to make all different stuff n that.

we have one jacquard here, just the one. i think. one that i've seen anyway. and there's a hattersley down across from the sewing room