Friday, October 28, 2011

The weaving that didn't want to be woven!!

I have been thinking about the wisdom of sharing my recent disaster on the loom. After all, this blog is a showcase of what should be varied and interesting hand-woven tapestries that are worked smoothly from woe to go. This time it has gone from woe to woes.  Should I be sharing my failures as well as the pieces that I am happy with? Probably, as the planning and background that went into it were well developed and substantial. I like to think that those of you following this blog will be able to identify with the frustration of an idea not coming to fruition despite the best of intention and planning. So here is a tribute to all the learning curves, set-backs and oddities of those works that fought us and taught us along the way to perfection. May they be far and few between.

The warp, showing a good dozen or so warp threads broken at the other end of the loom.

Shown in the fore-ground is my first attempt at this weaving. You can see the initial heavier tan cotton warp I was using. I decided the warp spacing was too close and should have been set at about 8 epi so cut it off the loom. Because the warp was set at 12 epi, it created a bow/spread in the selvedge and slight ridging in the woven area. 

I  re-warped with a finer white cotton warp and started weaving again, but because of the slow progress in weaving, the warp wasn't constantly being wound through the heddles, and because of the constant changing of the shed using metal heddles, I slowly sliced through the warp. With every other loom I have ever bought, the first thing I have done is remove all the metal heddles and replaced them with handmade cotton ones. This is  mainly because I have never liked the noise that the metal ones make when I'm constantly changing the shed as I weave. I also like to make sure that my home-made ones have a generous sized threading hole in them to allow for bulky yarns or knots created when tying on/extending a new length of warp. This is the first time I haven't bothered to do so, so it was a very unexpected and nasty surprise to have my warp slashed. Oh well, you live and learn. 

I have now over-simplified the design and will try again to weave a smaller weaving using only one smaller section of the design. I'll keep you posted to see what happens with this third and final attempt! 


  1. How generous of you to show and tell this! thank you very much. It's so good to be forewarned about pitfalls even the highly skilled weaver can experience. But this is going to end up being a lovey piece, once all the technicalities are overcome.

  2. Thanks for that.
    I should have listened to the little voice right from the start that was screaming THIS DOESN"T LOOK RIGHT.
    Would have saved myself heaps of time


Tapestry Weavings By Stephenie Collin


I hope you find Warped Art & Design both interesting and inspiring, and that it will encourage anyone working with fibre to investigate and experiment further within their chosen field.

The basic loom, which is my tool of trade, has remained technologically unchanged. This aspect appeals to me as I weave contemporary images on a machine of such simple and ancient construction.

And if the loom be silenced,
then needles, threads and fingers
have plenty more to say.

About Me

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Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand
I am an artist, weaver, gardener, mother and grandmother, home food gatherer, political sceptic, modest future eater, and much much more.