Backstrap weaving

Hi everyone. I just signed up. I am an Australian backstrap weaver living in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I've been living here for the last 16 years and learning to weave on a backstrap loom with indigenous women in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Guatemala for the last 14 years. I weave every day! I just want to put the word out that there is a backstrap weaver on board should anyone want to share stuff, ask questions etc....and, of course ,I want to learn from you too. I am in the process of putting photos on my project page.  Laverne Waddington

Comments

Posted on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 11:56

hi laverne,

I just love your weaving.as a beginning weaver I tried backstrap weaving because you can start without to much costs.Now I take it with me occasionally for demonstration; but i can make only  simple weavings.

I have  an interest in all ancient and traditional weaving technics .Just to see with how little they could make such beautiful textile gives me great joy.

sincere greetings,

jeannine

Posted on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 16:44

Thanks Jeannine,

I, too, am attracted by the simplicity of the loom. Despite its simplicity it has so much potential. I have major space issues and have to be able to roll up my work and put it away every night. I miss the beautiful Navajo loom that I used to have in Chile.

If you ever decide to go back to backstrap weaving and have any questions you know where to find me.

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 11:46

I loved seeing your work! I've dreamt of backstrap weaving now for almost a year, ever since I found a beautiful book on the subject. I have yet to try to make my own backstrap loom, but I have the instructions, so it's just a matter of finding the time to do it. It feels very comforting to know there is expertice help in this forum when I do get started :)

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 12:24

You should get a group going and see if there are other backstrap weavers around on Weavolution. I know I have seen a few in the Forum thread on what loom do you have.

Claudia

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 14:06

Thanks Claudia. I have started a group so please join. There are 6 members so far and author and teacher Carol Ventura is amongst us.Hopefully you will be inspired to start weaving on your backstrap loom.  I haven't looked at the ''what loom do you have'' thread. Thanks for the tip.

Posted on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 22:25

there is another ´´ Intoductions´´ thread which a member started around the bottom of the Forum list. i think we should close this one and head there to avoid confusion and doubling up, missing out on stuff etc....

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 00:18

I'm interested in trying out backstrap weaving. I'm fascinated with the idea of doing real weaving with nothing but a few sticks.

My floor loom is not the portable kind and I'd like to be able to demonstrate weaving to my daisy girlscouts, and maybe let them try.  Halcyon has a nice kit but at $25 it's not in the girl scout budget. I'd like to know how to set up a heddle bar - I could make up a few looms with just some dowels and card board shuttles.

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 21:10

Hi ilaine,

Yes, you can easily make looms for your girl scouts using a couple of thick dowels...broom handles are good...for the loom bars and thinner dowels for lease sticks. A wooden ruler can serve as a beater and cardboard shuttles...great! I have my system for setting up the heddle bar.It was taught to me by my Navajo teacher and I have stuck with this system eventhough I have learned many other ways of doing it in my travels in South America..I assume you are wanting to know how to wind the heddles. You can see pictures of that on my Flikr page.....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157620266457881/

However, if your girls are going to make narrow pieces here is another link with a simpler method. This web page was set up  by Carol Ventura. She is a member of the Backstrap Weaving Group here at weavolution. Perhaps you would like to join us......

http://iweb.tntech.edu/cventura/pickup.html

Hope this helps you get the girls up and weaving. The only thing that may be a bit harder to improvise is the backstrap itself. I live in South America and I have seen weavers here improvise backstraps from plastic woven sacks. They fold the sack into a rectangle and scrunch up the ends and tie a knot in them. Then they tied cord from the knot to the loom bars.

Your girl scouts are lucky to have you. what kind of weave are planning to teach them?

 

 

Posted on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 16:48

You can make a simple loom for Girl Scout weaving using popsicle sticks. It takes about 16 sticks per loom ( you can get away with using 10 sticks - but it will be sturdier with a few more. drill a small hole in the center of 8 sticks. Sand the holes so that they don't catch  on the yarn. Space the sticks perpendicular on a base stick at the top and bottom. You want to have a popsicle stick with a hole, then a space, then your next stick with a hole, space, etc. across your base sticks. If you glue 2 parallel sticks on the top and bottom on each side you will have a sturdy frame. Now you have a nice rigid heddle. Thread your loom with your yarn - one end in the hole in the stick, one end in the space between sticks. Tie your yarn in an overhand knot on each end - attach one end to a girls waist - on a belt or on a ribbon around her waist  and the other end to a door knob, chair - or the waist of another Girl Scout. I've seen it done with the girls all connected by the looms - one end on your waist and the other on the back of the girl ahead of you who had her loom on her  waist and the back of another girl forming a little train. Now you can weave away away - pulling the loom up gives you one shed - pulling it down makes another. You can use rulers as a beater or a piece of stiff cardboard. A pice of stiff cardboard can also make a shuttle.

You can also weave over and under drinking straws with girls or on cardboard looms - Lots of opportunities out there with inexpensive equipment. Good luck!

Posted on Mon, 06/29/2009 - 19:28

Hi again iliane,

have you seen the ''Teaching the Next Gerneration'' group here at weavolution? i am not a member but it seems that they could have the information you are looking for. The group name is quite far down on the Group page. Hope this helps.

Laverne.

Posted on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 11:56

hi laverne,

I just love your weaving.as a beginning weaver I tried backstrap weaving because you can start without to much costs.Now I take it with me occasionally for demonstration; but i can make only  simple weavings.

I have  an interest in all ancient and traditional weaving technics .Just to see with how little they could make such beautiful textile gives me great joy.

sincere greetings,

jeannine

Posted on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 16:44

Thanks Jeannine,

I, too, am attracted by the simplicity of the loom. Despite its simplicity it has so much potential. I have major space issues and have to be able to roll up my work and put it away every night. I miss the beautiful Navajo loom that I used to have in Chile.

If you ever decide to go back to backstrap weaving and have any questions you know where to find me.

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 11:46

I loved seeing your work! I've dreamt of backstrap weaving now for almost a year, ever since I found a beautiful book on the subject. I have yet to try to make my own backstrap loom, but I have the instructions, so it's just a matter of finding the time to do it. It feels very comforting to know there is expertice help in this forum when I do get started :)

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 12:24

You should get a group going and see if there are other backstrap weavers around on Weavolution. I know I have seen a few in the Forum thread on what loom do you have.

Claudia

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 14:06

Thanks Claudia. I have started a group so please join. There are 6 members so far and author and teacher Carol Ventura is amongst us.Hopefully you will be inspired to start weaving on your backstrap loom.  I haven't looked at the ''what loom do you have'' thread. Thanks for the tip.

Posted on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 22:25

there is another ´´ Intoductions´´ thread which a member started around the bottom of the Forum list. i think we should close this one and head there to avoid confusion and doubling up, missing out on stuff etc....

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 00:18

I'm interested in trying out backstrap weaving. I'm fascinated with the idea of doing real weaving with nothing but a few sticks.

My floor loom is not the portable kind and I'd like to be able to demonstrate weaving to my daisy girlscouts, and maybe let them try.  Halcyon has a nice kit but at $25 it's not in the girl scout budget. I'd like to know how to set up a heddle bar - I could make up a few looms with just some dowels and card board shuttles.

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 21:10

Hi ilaine,

Yes, you can easily make looms for your girl scouts using a couple of thick dowels...broom handles are good...for the loom bars and thinner dowels for lease sticks. A wooden ruler can serve as a beater and cardboard shuttles...great! I have my system for setting up the heddle bar.It was taught to me by my Navajo teacher and I have stuck with this system eventhough I have learned many other ways of doing it in my travels in South America..I assume you are wanting to know how to wind the heddles. You can see pictures of that on my Flikr page.....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157620266457881/

However, if your girls are going to make narrow pieces here is another link with a simpler method. This web page was set up  by Carol Ventura. She is a member of the Backstrap Weaving Group here at weavolution. Perhaps you would like to join us......

http://iweb.tntech.edu/cventura/pickup.html

Hope this helps you get the girls up and weaving. The only thing that may be a bit harder to improvise is the backstrap itself. I live in South America and I have seen weavers here improvise backstraps from plastic woven sacks. They fold the sack into a rectangle and scrunch up the ends and tie a knot in them. Then they tied cord from the knot to the loom bars.

Your girl scouts are lucky to have you. what kind of weave are planning to teach them?

 

 

Posted on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 16:48

You can make a simple loom for Girl Scout weaving using popsicle sticks. It takes about 16 sticks per loom ( you can get away with using 10 sticks - but it will be sturdier with a few more. drill a small hole in the center of 8 sticks. Sand the holes so that they don't catch  on the yarn. Space the sticks perpendicular on a base stick at the top and bottom. You want to have a popsicle stick with a hole, then a space, then your next stick with a hole, space, etc. across your base sticks. If you glue 2 parallel sticks on the top and bottom on each side you will have a sturdy frame. Now you have a nice rigid heddle. Thread your loom with your yarn - one end in the hole in the stick, one end in the space between sticks. Tie your yarn in an overhand knot on each end - attach one end to a girls waist - on a belt or on a ribbon around her waist  and the other end to a door knob, chair - or the waist of another Girl Scout. I've seen it done with the girls all connected by the looms - one end on your waist and the other on the back of the girl ahead of you who had her loom on her  waist and the back of another girl forming a little train. Now you can weave away away - pulling the loom up gives you one shed - pulling it down makes another. You can use rulers as a beater or a piece of stiff cardboard. A pice of stiff cardboard can also make a shuttle.

You can also weave over and under drinking straws with girls or on cardboard looms - Lots of opportunities out there with inexpensive equipment. Good luck!

Posted on Mon, 06/29/2009 - 19:28

Hi again iliane,

have you seen the ''Teaching the Next Gerneration'' group here at weavolution? i am not a member but it seems that they could have the information you are looking for. The group name is quite far down on the Group page. Hope this helps.

Laverne.