Saturday, 18 August 2012

Tablet Weaving Revival

I Have begun tablet weaving again. It's so terribly nice to be getting back into such a satisfying and incredibly simple form of weaving and one that requires next to nothing in the way of equipment. It's incredibly to think that it's been two years since I made a tablet warp.

So I am making material again. When these are completed they are rolled into discs for storage and display. I shall be selling these as both material and as friendship bracelets and belts when I am in Greece. These bands are quite strong and have many applications in the creation of accessories and garments.

Of course, I shall have to do more than this, but this is the basic level I will be working from. I also plan to weave strip-cloth, as I mentioned in a previous post. As I have yet to develop the techniques for doing this it's something of a possibility rather than a certainty, though I am fairly confident that it's entirely doable. In essence, I need to develop an entire weaving system that I can carry with me as I go, preferably with warp and fabric in place. If you search for "tripod loom mende" on Google, you'll see in the images results a good example of what I mean.

Of course, I would prefer to remain stationary and roll the fabric up at my belt and I'm sure it's perfectly doable. I suspect weaving from the side of the fabric is bad for your back, so I'll try to fuse the very simple tripod loom with the weaving techniques of the Ewe and Ashanti peoples of Ghana and Togo (which are, oh, so intricate and detailed) to create an intermediary drag-loom with probably 4 harnesses allowing me to weave 2 sheds of figuring on top of a plain weave base. Also, I shall be investigating Brocade techniques. All of this I shall be doing in the course of my 4th year work at college, assuming they'll let me do things this way. I think I'll probably get away with it.

Back to the tablet weaving, this picture shows a little of why I like this craft. The simplicity of the tools. the warp is passed through holes in these cards, which obviously I have made out of playing cards. traditionally they're made out of wood or leather or bone. Other cards I have seen which are more modern have been made from CD's or film acetate.

If people reading this are interested in this craft, I suggest looking up Linda Hendrickson, who is a master of good standing in tablet weaving and offers several very good instructional videos which I made use of when I was learning.

One last thing. I never weave with jokers. They're nothing but trouble. Trufax


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Liar's Cloth


There is a picture of an African Cloth called Liar's cloth. It is a silk garment made from sewn together strips of cloth. A common weaving method in West Africa is to weave strip cloth on simple portable looms.

This cloth apparently gains it's name due to warp stripes that run along one edge before entering the shed and coming out and running up the other side. It isn't clear exactly how this is done, with the article making reference to the stripes being kept at a different length and tension to the rest of the warp, for whatever reason by use of small waxed balls that hang below the warp. Not sure exactly what's going on here, but I could imagine having a number of warp threads individually weighted and hand manipulated or manipulated by removable heddles, allowing them to be pulled through the shed and come out on the other side.

Very interesting stuff anyway, i have for some time contemplated the possibility of turning warps into wefts and vice versa.

The article mentions that these are among the rarest and most sought after of the Ashante cloths, and it's possible it gains it's name from the "deceitful" behaviour of the warp stripes, though this could be wrong. Another article I found about a similar cloth ( suggests it was so called because it was worn by a cheif or elder when rendering judgement on the truth of a claimant's story in a case of tribal law, but I'm not sure about this, and as it's the cheif's cloth, wouldn't it be disrespectful to call it liar's cloth.

No, I suspect the cloth itself is the one beign deceitful, by the changing nature of it's threads. It's a very interesting subject, and i want to explore more. The fact is that there is very little mention of this cloth on the web. Some digging is called for, and perhaps the ordering of obscure books. Once again, Africa is my inspiration