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rigid heddle - theo moorman

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eddyg24's picture
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Joined: 01/30/2011

I want to set up my mom to weave Theo moorman on a 4-shaft loom, but thought I'd set her up with a sample on the rigid heddle at 12 epi, so am warping the rigid heddle with the main yarn, and thought I would then warp it with the background yarn and use pick up to weave the Theo Moorman part ( in this case, an iris pattern) , any help or suggestions would be appreciated - this is a learning experience for both of us - thank you!!!

Michael White's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2009
Sally Orgren, she is also

Sally Orgren, she is also here on Weavolution, has a outline here:  http://www.weavezine.com/content/diaphanous-leavesShe maybe online later today.

Claudia Segal's picture
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Joined: 05/13/2009
You mention this is a

You mention this is a learning experience for both you and your mom but you don't say why.  Have you used an RH loom?  Have you both been weaving for a while?  

This is a pretty ambitious project for a rigid heddle loom.  You may end up with several pick-up sticks to achieve the look you want.  Is there any reason why you don't want her to start with a sample on the 4-shaft loom?  Here is a good pattern for the 4-shaft loom.  

I have been weaving for over 3 years on a rigid heddle loom and have regretted every time I try to convert a 4-shaft pattern.  It has been a nightmare for me. 

If RH weaving is the part that is a learning experience, you might consider contacting Amelia Garripoli who is the Queen of the rigid heddle.  You can send her a Message by clicking on Messages in the orange box at the top of the page or consider taking one of her RH classes at Cyber-Fiber if you are new to RH weaving.  

Hope this helps.  Claudia 

Sally Orgren's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Theo Moorman is one type of

Theo Moorman is one type of weave, and Transparency is another. I think both derive from tapestry techniques, but instead of covering the warp totally with the weft, the structures work with and show off the warp at the same time. In trying to post photos, I can see where one might think they are about the same (because they kind of look similar!) but they DO actually have some differences. 

Theo Moorman looks like this. There is a thin sewing thread you cannot see that travels parallel to the regular warps (the sewing thread is a supplemental warp). It is that "lock down" warp that operates independently of the regular warps to hold down your inlay weft (in your case, the iris). The design rests on the surface of the piece, it is not evident on the back. The background cloth is solid, not see-through.

Transparency is two-sided. The effect is achieved with an open sett, and the inlay design wefts are laid into the spaces between the normal wefts. In both Theo Moorman and Transparency weaves, the design weft is supplementary, meaning it is not required for the stability of the fabric. (Or, in other words, at least a 2-shuttle weave!) Here is a transparency up-close. (I wove this piece sideways on the loom, so in the photo posted, the weft = the threads running up and down.)

One other thing to remember with tapestry weaving in general; a single shuttle path is thought of in "pairs," i.e. across AND back. (That is not always true when we do other kinds of weaving-we think nothing of throwing one pick of a color and then doing something else, or treadling a repeat an odd number of times.)

Claudia and others here at Weavolution have done a lot more rigid heddle than I have, so I defer to their expertise as to the feasibility of doing this on a RH. Since you need to have the desired shed remain open while you lay in your design weft, I suspect that might be easier on a traditional shaft loom (unless you have more than 2 hands ;-)

 

FYI-books and contemporary instructors-

"Weaving As an Art Form" by Theo Moorman (has threading and weaving exercises in it)

"Sheer Delight, Handwoven Transparencies" by Doramay Keasby

Nadine Sanders (Theo Moorman is an ongoing interest and she offers workshops in the technique. West-coast based.)

Heather Winslow (teaching a class in Theo Moorman this summer at the MAFA workshop weekend in Gettysburgh, PA)

 

Michael White's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2009
Thanks Sally, I though both

Thanks Sally, I though both were transparencies now I know better. Cheryl does "transparencies" as seen here. A silk scarf

with inlay

ed butterflies.

debmcclintock's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Don't forget that you can use

Don't forget that you can use string doupes in combination with your pickup sticks for Theo Morman.  It is a standard consistent threading/treadling so should be easy to do on your rigid heddle once you get the proper balance of warp, tie down threads and weft.  Map out the treadling sequence for a 4 shaft loom and then figure out whether to use the hole/slot heddle for your tabby and use the string doupe/pickup stick for the pattern part.  Once you have a lift plan you should be good. In other words, there are two "battles", proper balance of sett/beat for threads AND the proper way to lift your sequence.  

If you have access to the the magazines Prairie Wool Companion (long out of print) they had some great articles that make a good reference for thinking outside of the rigid heddle box.  I always found it easier to convert 4 shaft patterns using one rigid heddle in combination with string doupes and a pickup stick.  Much more flexible than with two rigid heddle.  

I'd give some suggestions but I am not near my books so I can't help with specifics.

debmcclintock's picture
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Just to follow up on what I

Just to follow up on what I said above Laverne has a very good tutorial on string doups here, several varieties with photos

http://weavolution.com/group/backstrap-weaving/shedding-devices-rigid-string-heddles-tablets-10464

Even though this is focused at the backstrap crowd there is no reason why you cannot do this behind your rigid heddle slot/hole device and use it to manipulate a series of threads in combination with your pickup stick.

Joined: 06/11/2009
inlay weaves that aren't transparencies

The inlay process that Sally so well describes (and does so beautifully) can also be done on a plain weave ground without making the ground transparent.  

Tommye

Tikkunknitter's picture
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Joined: 11/30/2010
Using cartoons in inlay weaving

I am planning a Moorman inlay project, but am relatively new to floor
loom weaving, and could use a bit more information before starting. 
What are my options for holding the cartoon in proximity to my weaving? 
Do I suspend it underneath the warp?  Above it?

debmcclintock's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
under the warp is more

under the warp is more comfortable, either stitch it loosely in place or use some magnets to hold it in place.  Depends on your resources.  Don't let the cartoon wander...little stitches work well for exact placement, magnets help hold it overall in place

Karren K. Brito's picture
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Joined: 11/13/2009
I think that RH is perfect

I think that RH is perfect for Theo Moorman technique.  I would warp it by holding the ground warp and sewing thread together and thread the heddle treating the two theards as one. You can then use a pick-up stick , picking up some (depends on how long you want the floats) of  the sewing threads from the slots. Transfer this to a pattern stick behind the heddle. ( For first experience you can use just one pick up stick.  Using one pick up stick means that all the tie-downs for the inlay threads will be aligned and the inlay will have little columns, not brick work.)

Weave your ground as usual.  To insert the inlay thread, heddle in neutral, pattern stick  pulled up to heddle and turn on the side to make a shed with only sewing thread up.  Insert inlay thread, push pattern stick back and weave the next pick.  Easy,peasy.

The hard part is getting an inlay thread to cover the ground.  You migh have to expeiment to get the right thickness.  I use 6 strand embroidery floss that I can double up or split to get just the right coverage.

Joined: 06/08/2009
Helpful Monograph

I have never tried this, but I have downloaded this reference:

http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weavi...

 

debmcclintock's picture
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wow, thanks for posting this

wow, thanks for posting this reference.  I had forgotten about it.  Now...this is a little embaressing (sp) but I've been weaving almost 30 years and started on the rigid heddle.  This booklet is an excellent reference and I used it as a guide when I did this technique on my rigid heddle.  My current memory bank did not hold that data until tapestryinterst posted the link.  Definitely print this one off and use it!

eddyg24's picture
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theo moorman - update

well - thank you for all of your posts and suggestions, I did thread both layers as one - the ground warp (thicker thread) and the tie down thread - (thin thread)  I used some string heddles attached to a dowel rod, and a pick-up stick, but from there I am a little lost - I used the string heddles underneath all of the slot tie-down threads, but you are suggesting above that I only pick up some of the thinner threads on the slot threading - every other?  let me know if you need more detail to figure out what I did -

Sally Orgren's picture
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Affixing a cartoon to your warp

Nadine Sanders recommends affixing the cartoon to the top of your warp, facing down, and rolling it back to expose your work area. This makes it a lot easier to adjust as you weave, (vs. attaching it to the underside), but I had a hard time with not seeing the whole image as I worked. Her method reveals the image in small bits, row-by-row, but upside down. My brain just wasn't able to anticipate where the lines were going with a very irregular cartoon.

So I came up with a "sling" system to make it easy to slide the cartoon up or down as I worked. When doing this on a table loom, it can be hard to reach under the warp in that limited space between the castle and the front beam. And sometimes I wanted to slide the cartoon up to see where a line was heading to make a decision on that particular row. I used an extra lease stick underneath to support the cartoon exactly where I wanted it. (The illustration below shows the two methods, the sling method is depicted first.)

I also used a non-woven fusible material for the cartoon, the kind manufactured for copying sewing patterns. It comes gridded, available from JoAnn's. I like it for its transparency and flexibility over using actual paper.

The photo below shows the whole apparatus in place while I was weaving "Alex", which took the HGA award at Small Expressions, 2008. This was woven on a Voyager, which probably has the smallest castle-to-front-beam ratio of any loom out there (and probably why I had to come up with an alternative system for affixing the cartoon!)

P.S. I used this technique with my transparency weaving, but don't see why it wouldn't work with Theo Moorman, too.