Weavers' Guild of Rochester Holiday Sale Starts Tomorrow!
This hand-dyed cotton dress (pattern courtesy of Marcy Tilton) is just one of the items I will have for sale at the Weavers' Guild of Rochester Holiday Sale -- starting tomorrow, Friday, November 3. There will be hundreds of one-of-a-kind items created by our talented group of 170 weavers and fiber artists. The results are truly awesome and it's the biggest fundraiser of the year for our guild.
Come by and come buy! Free parking, free admission. Buy local, buy handmade and avoid the crowds. Below are all the details.
Oh and by the way -- the dress DOES have pockets ;o)
How do you weave a countless number of structures on one warp? With an extended parallel threading, of course! This particular technique offers a lot of "bang for the buck" for weavers. All you have to do is modify your treadling and, in some cases, change the tie-up. If you're REALLY ambitious, you can change the tie-up and re-sley as well to achieve Double Weave or Shadow Weave.
What is an extended parallel threading? For those who follow the work of Marian Stubenitsky and/or Bonnie Inouye, it needs no introduction. For the rest of us, all it means is that, for starters, you use two colors in your warp, so that you can thread them A-B-A-B, etc. (A being your first color and B being your second). Then, instead of threading a straight draw of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (just as an example), you thread your two colors using the same line, but separately, at a set interval.
For example, if you decide you're going to thread at an interval of 4, for an extended parallel th…
In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, "It ain't over till it's over." This phrase is true not just for baseball, but also for collapse-weave fabrics! You plan and warp and weave and cut off -- but the fabric isn't finished until it's finished, because it looks entirely different after washing.
Here's an example. Below, the fabric on the loom.
And after washing -- after "fulling" by agitating and scrubbing by hand with soap in hot water, to be exact.
Now THIS is cloth with character! Lots of wriggling shapes, thanks to "differential shrinkage," in which one fiber (wool) shrinks while the other (cotton) doesn't. And lots of strong color, thanks to deflected double weave.
I wove this fabric on my trusty little 4-harness Structo loom, pictured here.
I have always wanted one and finally purchased one this year. I took it on a trip to Chicago -- and simply packed it in my suitcase! Portable weaving studio!
Last Saturday at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center, I taught a class on "Getting the Blues: Natural Dyeing with Indigo and Woad." The short story is that, among some 275 plants that have usable amounts of indigo in their leaves, woad and indigo are the most popular worldwide, indigo itself (indigofera tinctoria) being the most popular natural blue dye of all time. Both have been used for thousands of years (woad, for example, was used in the British Isles by the Picts to paint themselves blue during warfare). The textile industry in southern France, centered in Toulouse, was devoted to woad -- until the 16th century, when indigo was introduced from Asia and, literally, blew it out of the water! (OK, so I can't resist a bad pun.) Indigo has the most concentrated levels of the blue pigment, which is why it's preeminent among its competitors. So I thought we'd have a class to demonstrate why. The photos below give you some of the results. (There are several qualifier…