My friend Laverne has been working on a twining technique inspired by Montagnard weavers. She about it posted on her blog Backstrap Weaving.
Twining has been on my fiber adventure list so I moved it to the top. This is the first part of a twined bag I am making. Twining is an old craft that can create fabric without a loom.
Twining is usually started by stringing a line around two poles. I wrapped a string around some cardboard that is 8 1/2 by 11 inch. This makes it portable enough to carry. Then I attached some warp threads down with a larkshead knot or loop.
The first few rows I misread the directions and I twined around each warp with white yarn. Then I realized I was supposed to twine around warp pairs, so I started with the yellow yarn.
You can see how the yarn is twining around the warp pairs in this picture. Here is a closeup of how I tried to pull up on the weft to keep it tight. I twine all the way around both sides of the board so I will have a bag when I am done. The yarn is labelled Rug Crafter's Rug Yarn, 100% acrylic and I bought it cheap at the thrift store for this kind of project.
Here is a link to a PDF file that will tell you how to start twining.
And some more links of interest.
Have a good day!
Nice! I didn't learn it from the Montagnard weavers, though. I saw their work and that was what inspired me to look in books. I am doing Taaniko style twining and just guessing that that is how the Montagnard weavers are doing it at this stage as I have been able to reproduce their designs with this technique. You can twine around single warps if you want - that is what I am doing - but there are so many variations from what I have seen and no "correct" way. Just go with what works for the weight of yarn you are using.
I love this idea of twining in a circle...no messy ends to deal with. How do you add in new weft when you run out? One of my books says to tie a knot and make sure the knot stays at the back but that has been really fiddly to manage. What do you do?
If you like this, you might like rag rug twining. I took a class with Bobbie Irwin at MAFA a while back, and enjoyed it so much, I have shared it with several of my guilds. Someday, I'll actually make myself a loom large enough to make a rug, rather than a sampler :)
Laverne, the traditional method of doing a join in twined work is to thread the end that is running out through a darning needle. Bring the weft around the back, as a regular stitch, then use the needle to pull the weft down into the weaving for a few rows. Add the new weft by pulling it up through the weaving with the needle. After you've woven two or three rows, you can trim the ends close to the work, and they will bury themselves in the weaving. No knots!
Weaving the ends in? Okay, I guess I could let the extra weft hang down as a warp and twine around it for a few rows then cut off. I'll try that.
Have a good day!
I haven't found a "best" way on adding weft yet. I've tried a couple of knots and I'm going to try weaving in.
Have a good day!
I've wanted to make a rag rug but I don't have a large enough loom. But a twined rag rug loom is something I could build.
I'm also thinking of using tee shirt strips (t-shirt yarn or tarn) for twining projects.
Have a good day!
Thank you! I will try and put this into action.
Hi Franco, you've got the right idea about handling the ends, you're just doing it upside down from my method. I don't weave the end in and out of the weft, I just pull it between the two weft layers alongside a warp group. This gets it held down and under control right away. And since you are using double warp groups, you can create twill patterns, like diagonal stripes and arrowhead designs, by going around only one warp on the first stitch of a row, then around two for the remainder of the row. You would be dividing each pair as you go around. If, after a few rows, you step it back at the beginning, you will reverse the twill. Another easy one is to do a three-strand twine which makes a heavier rope-like spiral.
I think this is one of your best first attempts yet. Looking good! And the tarn would probably work really well.
Okay, twill and three strand is on the list. That should keep me busy for a while.
Thank you for the comment about this piece. I like it too. I think it shows how easy the basic technique is and that I'm learning a little bit about design.
Have a good day!
This is twined bag I’ve been working on. The twined bag is almost complete. It needs a loop and button on the opening to close the top and it should have some lining. I have some old shirts that I can use for lining. I also need to trim the fringe.
I’m happy with the pattern that I just threw together as I went.
You can also see this on my blog
Have a good day!
Next, my humble twined bag adventure continues:
(click on pictures for larger image)
on a train. Here is the current bag in progress. I wanted to see what a
lot of stripes would look. Here it is. The warps are tied over a double
strand of yarn. I wanted to get a fatter edge to the top and it worked
well, showing off the different color warp yarns. The stripes are
tedious with changes every two rows.
is how I wind my butterflies for twining. Upper left of the picture is
the train seat in front of me. The right side of the picutre is the
floor of the train. Sacramento has a light rail system that I use to
commute to work and the light is good enough for pictures without using
flash. I can work on small projects if I can get a seat. I should
probably keep a drop spindle handy for days when I have to stand.
I am starting a new color. I start the twine around the last pair from
the back side (orange) of the cardboard so I get a secure change on the
side of the bag. Then twine the first pair from the front side (yellow).
Of course the front and back sides change every time I flip the
am ending the rows on the sides of the bags with a square knot. Because
it ends on the side I can cover the knots with the strap for the bag
later. Even so, I try to hide the knots. The white plastic bag is for
transporting the work. I stuff the cardboard with twined bag into the
white plastic bag and slide it into my red bag that I use to carry my
books and lunch to work. I try to pre-cut my yarn so I can pull the next
color out of the bag to keep twining. So I leave the big skeins of yarn
at home, I carry only enough yarns for a days' work.
is the square knot at the end of the color change (circle). I start the
color on the side opposite the knot from the end of the last color.
This way I can trap the loose ends from the knot. Here you see I am
twining around three strands of orange, one of which is a strand from
the knot. I'll trap the other strand from the knot on the other side of
the cardboard in the next pair.
I finish the next row (yellow) I'll tie it off then go to the side
where the orange strands from the square knot are. The strands (marked
with X) from the square knot (arrow) travel under the yellow rows and
are hidden. I'll cut off the orange strands and start another color.
my train ride I transfer to a bus for the second half of the ride to
work over the Sacramento River into West Sacramento, the light is not as
good on the bus so no pictures of working on the bus. But here is a
picture looking out the bus window at the flag at 500 Capitol Mall
Tower, where strong winds are making the large flag stand straight out.
Have a good day!
It is looking good. However, I think you are making color changes a lot more work than they need to be. Here are some ideas to try.
1. Try making two butterflies of two different colors of yarn. Knot them together with a small knot (leave long enough ends to weave in after you get a short distance. Start with the small knot on the inside of the bag. Now you have a warp in two colors. When you want to change colors and bring the back color to the front just twist until the color you want is in the front. You will learn that there is a difference in you pattern if you twist with the front warp on the top twisting down or on the bottom twisting up. (Not sure I explained that well?? Ask questions if you don't understand what I'm saying.)
2. Don't end your weft colors with knots just let it drop down and run along with you warp. This way you can pick that color back up when ever you what to use it again. You weft threads cover your warp and you will never see the weft that you carry with you warp unless you are using a very thick yarn.
3. There is a way to carry three colors of weft at a time. My understanding from reading is that two of the colors are carried on the inside while only one color is carried on the outside. However, I have never tried this just read about it. In theory it should work. lol
I would post a pic of a bag with color changes done this way if I could figure out how. lol
Since starting to play with this, your ideas make sense, at least I could work that technique for two colors at a time. I think I read about that in the virtual tour link. I think the technique is "1 twist change color, 2 twist same color"
Using 5 colors together was not the best decision, but it sure is a challenge that invites new techniques.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Have a good day!
Franco , I really recommend buying this book for under $3!!...look here.
You will see there examples of the large and extremely clear step-by-step instructions. It also teaches a different way to start from the way you are doing...not superior or inferior, just different and interesting. The two-color twining is explained very well...you are right one twist - different color, two twists and a tug - same color.
Love your pieces BTW.
Thank you Laverne,
I'll put that book on the list of things to buy. $3 is little enough to pay for a useful book.
Have a good day!
If you look at the part of the bag that you already have twined, you will see that you have consistently twisted in the same direction. All of your weft is laying the same. Which is great for what you are doing now, however, if you want to make patterns with angles and such you will need to learn to control the twist both ways. (top over bottom weft and bottom over top weft) I can't find my way back to where I posted photos of my twine bags. If you can find it and you look closely at the three colored bag, you will see in the first layer how my color is laying wrong and I'm not getting smooth lines between the two colors. In the second row of color I'm playing with understanding how this twist works. My color is angled all sorts of ways. lol I think that they look like turtles. I might have a big imagination though. In the last row of color I have smooth straight lines between the colors because now I understand how the twist works. I will try to take close up photos of this today. I still can't post photos here, I not computer bright. But maybe I could email them to you and then you post them if that is not too much trouble. But at least you personally could see what I'm talking about.
Is this a plain as mud?
Oh! Oh! that is not a book I have. Thank you for posting the link. It is now on my wish list.
O.K. I think that I finally came up with a good way to explain it. If you think
of every time your weft passes over you warp between the twist as a stitch. You
can change the angle of that stitch by how you twist. It can either be angled /
or opposite of this which is with the top of the stitch closer to the right and
the bottom of the stitch closer to the left (this is how you stitches are laying
now.) Controlling this angle allows you to make all those geometrical shapes
that you see in twining. By taking the back weft under the bottom the front weft
and twisting upwards over your front weft you get the first angel (/) . By taking the back weft over the top of the front weft and twisting down you get the second angel. Sorry to go on
and on about this, but I'm passionate about twining. lol I will leave you all be now.
If you switch the angles of your stitches in a row you are untwisting your last stitch and the weft will not lie neatly. The warp threads keep the previous stitch from untwisting completly but the threads will not lie as they should and both colors will show. If you alternate direction on every single stitch in a row what you will end up with is a poorly executed tabby. The way to create neatly angled patterns is by creating a twill. You do this in one of two ways. At the beginning of a row you twine around a single warp thread for the first stitch only (best method) and then begin twining in pair again. Your pair will now be one thread each from two different pairs of the previous row. You can also begin the row by using three warps together for the first stitch (this may cause your work to pull in too much). A twill pattern spirals up around the work, instead of the vertical lines you get when you always use the same two warps in a pair. Both methods can be used in the same piece to great effect. Colors used in a twill design can move either left or right. Study what is happening when you begin your row!
Thank you WOGM and Liza with a Z,
This is fascinating. As I surf the web for twining I'm finding lots of cool stuff. I'll have to make a list of links for posting.
Thank you for all your enabling.
Have a good day!
I forgot to add that you can alternate between "S" and "Z" twining on different rows, which is another design element possibility either in texture or in color.
I can see and understand how your way of twining works, but I believe often there is more than one way to do something. My way does work I have made many beautiful things using this method. I've twined for well over ten years with this method and taught it to others. I am not good with words. I am much better at hands on teaching. The stitches stay if you do your twist right. The best thing for people wanting to learn is play with the different methods and find out what works best for them. All my twining books were bought after many twined project were already under my belt so I'm sure that I might not follow all those rules or know all the right language. lol And I'm always open to learning more.
The twined work that I have studied the most is Native American. Mainly along the US and Canadan boarders. I do not sell my twined work. It is given as gifts and such. I found the following infromation very interesting. Hope you enjoy.
1. Lewis and Clark were amazed at the twine
bags that they saw on their trip. They tried to buy them, but the Natives would
not part with them very willingly. They were only able to bring one twined bag
back. 2. Twined
bags were not an item that was sold very often. They took a long time to make,
and were very highly valued. They were something that was "gifted" to another,
or exchanged at a marriage. (I understand this a whole lot better since making them. No one would believe the hours I spend on making something
twined.) A friend of mine from
another site found the bag Lewis and Clark brought back here. http://www.peabody.harvard.edu/Lewis_and_Clark/basket.html Now to jump ahead to this basket site http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/baskets/use/storage.html
. One of the women on that site got to hold the bag that Lewis
and Clark brought back for 6 hrs. Her twined bag on that basket site has some
simialities to the Lewis and Clark bag. I would love to meet Mrs. Gold someday.
Here is a link to an interview with her. http://www.nea.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/interview.php?id=2007_05Liza
PS : After thinking about it your way might be more simple to use than mine. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
There are a number of different ways of twining other than the basic ones discussed so far. In "North American and Pacific Basketry - A Living Tradition", Roger G. Rose, Head of the Dept. of Ethnology, Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, presents a few of them. He then adds "Suffice it to say that twined basketry exists in multitudinous forms and is particularly adaptable to a variety of materials . . ." He illustrates "plain" twining (both S and Z), wrapped, 1 version of twill (there are others), wrapped crossed warp (sometimes called birdcage), diagonal twined, three-strand, crossed warp (not the same as wrapped crossed warp), and overlay (false embroidery).
The Lewis and Clark bag (thanks for the links)uses more than one of these stitches, with the animals being done in overlay. This bag was done with two of my favorite materials, sedge and dogbane, which I talked about gathering in one or more previous group posts or projects.
I too am always open to learning new techniques, and would love to see a close-up of both the front of back of one of your pieces. If I hold two strands of fiber between my hands and twist once to the left and once to the right (or top/bottom) I don't see a diagonal.
Auh, whiteoakgrandmother! I didn't realize you were this much into twining! Did you see this lecture? Give it time to load, I think you will enjoy it!
If you look at his home page along the right hand side all the talks are listed in bright orange. You might run into trouble with the photos with your system but they are worth the wait.
I'm back to my dyepots, acorns and lichens today, slowly catching my blog up! Will post when it is caught up with dyepots!
Thanks for the link Deb, I hadn't seen this one yet. I always love seeing these pages when you remind me. They are the ultimate project pages! They are a slow load for me but worth the wait and I usually manage to get most of the pictures by clicking on the red X.
Can't wait to see your dyepot results. I've especially been wondering about the lichens.
That is an excellent resource. After reading the entire entry, I am hooked. I have some directions on how to twine a bag and I'm going to start next week while we are on vacation and I am loom-less. This looks like fun and am hoping the technique is agreeable to my arthritic hands.
Thanks everyone for all the input,
I have achy joints also and I find the twining to be easy on the fingers.
Have a good day!
Okay, Liza noted that my twining is always in the same direction, an "S" slant like this \.
So on the next row of color I decided to make the "Z" slant like this /.
Talk about learning to walk backwards!!! My fingers keep trying to make the S instead of the Z. I had to call a time out more than once to get the fingers to regroup. I undid a couple of sections when my hand snuck in an S when I wanted Z. I slapped my hand to make it pay attention and it gave me the finger.
I will not be dismayed.
Have a good day!
"I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul."
Invictus - W.E. Henley
Oh thank you for that laugh. My daughter and I were reading your post
together. Since we both have been there, it made it even funnier.
If something can't be done then why is a pic of it on page 48 of it in Bobbie
Irwin's book Twined Rag Rugs?? The caption reads "Pitch changes in the middle of
The other thing all those fancy terms you used. lol You really need to
understand that there are many different names for the same thing. Different
areas and cultures use different names for the same thing. That does not make
one name "better" than the other. Twining is very old and I would not be
surprised to find traces of it in every culture.
You say that you are open. lol But you are very plainly asking me to prove
myself to you (front and back). You are not my inspector, I am my own inspector
and I am very fussy. I was just going to let this drop because I need to prove
nothing, however, I'm concerned for the others who want to twine. It is an
ancient art that has been dying out and I for one want to see people interested
in learning it. One of the reasons that it fascinates me is the endless
differences you can get with just plain string and a few twists. I encourage anybody who is twining to use their own imagination. Hopefully every
new comer is not treated like I was.
Thanks for the link. I enjoyed it.
I hope it was the correct finger you needed to make the twist!
Franco thanks for the giggle with that description. I can see it!
Twining continues on the train and the bus. From bottom row, the orange, light brown rows have one row of S twine followed by Z twine. From the lowest black row, up to the next orange, those are Z twine. Above that is all S twine.
Notice how the sides of the bag kind of bulge out. I have too many warps on this bag. So when I twine it causes the bag to spread. I did not need to pack in as many warp colors as I did. I could have easily left off five warp pairs and it would have fit more snugly to the cardboard frame. I also think after I put the straps on the sides nobody else will notice.
Sometimes while I twine I turn the card sideways. The yarn falls down out of the way and it goes better sometimes.
Have a good day!
To reflect the content of this thread the title is changed from "Twining - Part 1" to "Twining - On and On"
Thank you all for your comments and support.
Have a good day!
The way the weft is tightly packed reminds me of Rep weave from Scandinavia. A rug would be awesome. A twine could be used for the warp and some heavy yarn for the weft. I wonder if a tapestry loom would be a suitable base for it.
It makes a great rug that will last for yrs. I have pics of rugs made from
fabric or rags. It was very popular here in the states many yrs ago. I think a
yarn one would to neat, however, it could be a long slow project. I twined a
basket with fabric strips for my mother one yr for Christmas. I was amazed at how
much fabric it took. Of course I probably did a little over kill on the packing
it tight. lol If you make one I would love to see pics. I'm sure it would be
BobbieIrwin's book Twined Rag Rugs is a great book about these twined rag
You do not need anything special to twine a rug. They can be twined on a
normal loom. You just twine instead of throwing the shuttle. lol Or you can use
a tapestry loom if you have one, but often they where made on an old wooden
window frame. I read stories about people twining themselves in over the winters
in the mid-west here. They would use the window frames in their house and twine
rugs on them in the winters and then take them off and use them a rugs in the
summer. I personally think it would make your house very dark, however it would
help keep out those cold drafts. I heard of people using old wagon wheels as a
frame to twine on. And you can also twine free form without any frame or loom.
Really the possibilities are endless. I've twined little vases and such too.
I would love to hear from others who twine. Anyone here ever twine a rug?
Here is a link to a twined rug frame that is sold on ebay. I have never used
his and have no idea who he is, but it will give you an idea of how simple the
frame can be. http://cgi.ebay.com/TWINNING-WEAVING-LOOM-MAKING-RAG-RUGS-/290511784517?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a3da0a45
Here are pics of the twined fabric basket that I made my mother. I not sure how clear they will be. I keep stretching them when I transfer them. Sorry,
Thanks for all the interesting information Liza. I could image that a twined rug would be very durable, especially if a strong/course wool was used. We have a course local wool from the owais sheep that is sold for about $8 per kilo. It's not a bad price, but since I shared it with others, I'll have to get more for rugs I was planning to weave in rep or rosepath. Also, they're dyed in so many beautiful colors.
Have a good day!
"Franco , I really recommend
Franco , I really recommend buying this book for under $3!!...look here .
You will see there examples of the large and extremely clear
step-by-step instructions. It also teaches a different way to start
from the way you are doing...not superior or inferior, just different
and interesting. The two-color twining is explained very well...you are
right one twist - different color, two twists and a tug - same color. "
Finally that book made it to my house. lol Thanks! I've really enjoyed it. It is from a totally different part of the world than any of my other books.
What a great information site this is. I just finished my first twined rug and I love it. I made the frame from some wood I found inDH's shop anddowels I bought. After the first rug I re did the bolts that hold it together so it does not twist. I also added some pegs down the sides because I read that you can put loops on the sides of the rugs and whip two together and I want to try that too.
Thanks for all the help this site is. Now I want to try a bag! I'll have to look for yarn at my local thrift shop.
If you all can tell me how to post a picture I would show you my rug and frame. But I can't figure it out.
marlenedg in Oregon
There are lots of topics for posting pictures and posting a project in your projects section in the Help topics. Click on Help at the end of the black bar at the top of the page. Or, go here.
Thanks for joining the Weavolution!
Claudia, Weavolution co-founder
That is wonderful! I would love to see it, but totally understand. It took me awhile to figure out the pic thing too. I love hearing about other people's twinning projects and adventures.
Thought that I would add a pic of my first twined bag with color. You can see how much my twining improved. lol The first section I did not have my twists right. The middle I was playing with the twist to understand how they work. I think it looks a little bit like turtles. ; ) The bottom I've learned my lesson and am twining great.
I hope you get the picture posted. If you go to the link that Claudia provided, you should have enough clues to make it work.
Have a good day!
Well I got my pictures in the my projects and am going to try and get them on here too. Today I started on the second rug and am likeing it a lot. It is made from some red and beigh flannel sheets and will be good on te feet. I also went to the wood shop and made a frame to do placemats on. I wanted something smaller that I could take with me when I go to SCA events and use in the car on long drives. No photos of it yet but soon.
Thanks again for all your help and the viedo was very good.
The list of Ravens Tails sites is not complete without this one.
Talk about soul and eye candy
I have two sizes of simple twining frames that I use for making bags. I will try to take pics of them. I really like to twine free form too.(That is with no frame)
So glad that you posted your pic. It is a very nice rug. How long did it take you to make it? Are you selling them?
Wow, somehow I missed that site. Thanks for posting it. Her personal story is very interesting.