Hand Weaving

Wanting to continue with weaving, I decided that I would try making my own hand-loom out of an old shoe box lid; I just simply drew lines vertically and then made a little snip with scissors where the warp would hook round. I decided that I would experiment, at first with the wools I had at home, to see if I could create movement on the weave; the blue weave was the first to be created where I used two different yarns and some cut up chiffon to create a loosely based ice weave. I feel that this is the least successful weave that I created because when I took it off the loom the tension hadn’t been strong enough, on both the warp and the yarns woven in, as it slackened and some parts started to slightly unravel. I also didn’t leave a big enough gap between the movement parts so when I again took it off the loom they moved into each other and the gap was lost but I feel that this will again have something to do with the tension; For a first attempt at a hand-loom, I feel that I gave it a good go and it was, in some ways, successful because I did have a weave at the end of it.

The second hand-weave that I decided to create was inspired by the fire aspect of my project; again I used three different yarns and some cut offs of chiffon. I took forward my weaknesses from my last loom and tried to improve it on this loom. I began by making sure that the warp wasnt at all slack and I ensured this by pulling it as tightly as I could. When I began to weave, I knotted the end of the yarn onto the warp to ensure it couldn’t unravel at the end of it, but also, it allowed me to be able to pull the yarn through tighter without having to worry of the end would pull through. I gain attempted to do some movement in the weave, which I would like to think was a lot more successful than the blue weave’s movement, because I ensured that I left at least one vertical warp spaced-gap between the two different yarns so that you can successfully see the movement element. I strongly believe that this weave is a lot more successful that the last weave I created, however, for me there is one main weakness, which I again can learn from, which is the fact that the end of the weave again slackened because I think I should have finished it with a straight black weave, like there is above. I think that if I had finished with a two lined black weave it would have created a more symmetrical weave and it would have prevented the slacken at the end, however another way it could have been prevented would have been for me to mirror the top section so I would have ended up with a straight red weave, which again would have prevented the end loops slackening. After having outlined this main weakness, I will definitely take this idea forward and I will definitely start and end with a straight weave next time.

The next hand-weave I created had many weaknesses with it, but I tried to experiment with using different materials to put through instead of just chunky yarns. For me this weave had two strengths;

  1. The blue plastic that I used created a stronger weave through so it allowed the structure to be kept. Even though it was hard to weave with, it looked successful at the end because it created a strong, and bold structure and colour to the weave – I feel that the shiny of the plastic enhanced its strength because it created a different texture to the weave, instead of just a having a matt surface. Next time, I would like to cut it into smaller pieces to see what that looks like.
  2. The white jersey fabric that I used, that followed the blue plastic again kept its structure but it also weaves beautifully, as it creates a tight-knit section with no gaps or movement. It also creates a bumpy effect when you feel it, because the warp really ensures that the material moves under instead of just feeling like one piece of yarn which hasn’t been woven.

However, this weave was possibly the most unsuccessful one I’ve created due to many different factors;

  1. The warp that I used wasn’t strong so if I pulled tightly on the weave it would snap, which is a bad fact of a warp as it’s the glue that holds the weave together. For next time, I will pull, with a bit of force, on the yarn I’d like to use for the warp to see if it snaps easily and if it does I will avoid using it for the warp.
  2. The warp didn’t create a good tension, so when I removed it from the loom it kind of collapsed in places and lost its structure. I think this could be down to the fact that it is different sizes throughout the yarn so if a bigger bit got put through the cut in the card it will not have pulled through as tightly, however, as stated in the weakness above it wasn’t a strong yarn so I will need to check if its strong when it comes to picking the desired warp.
  3. The weave lost its structure, creating a more curved weave instead of a straight-edged weave. I think this is because of the different materials I used in the weave, because some of them had more elasticity in them than others, which will have pulled the warp tighter. If I had used a tighter pulling material after a stronger one it made the tension in the stronger yarn slacked.

Overall, this weave really wasn’t successful, but I now know that if I want to use any of the weaknesses in future weaves how I can avoid them, therefore, it has been successful because I would rather these weaknesses happen now, in the sampling stage, because I can avoid them when I come to applying them in  my final design.

Lastly I decided to create an all white weave so that I could dye it up later. I think that this weave, before the dyes was the most successful weave that I have created because it didn’t lose its structure and the tension was perfect, which allowed my yarns to not create movement that I didn’t purposely create. I personally feel that when I added the dyes it ruined this weave because the colours of the dyes weren’t right and they didn’t sit evenly like I desired them to do. I think that to improve this I would pre-dye the fabric because I would avoid the uneven application and I feel it would look more professional. My peers around me did really like it and thought that it had worked well but I think that because I knew I wanted it a certain way it didn’t work as successfully for me as I would have hoped, so this could be down to personal preference as to whether you think it was successful or not, but for me I have found it as a way to learn and to know not to add the dyes this way next time.

Overall, I think all four have been successful in different ways but all four have provided me with ways to learn from for the next time I do a weave using a particular feature from one of the weaves.

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