Introductions - Backstrap Weaving

Hi!

I'm Franco Rios from Sacramento. I have been weaving for the last couple years. I also like to spin.

I'm interested in seeing more info about backstrap loom weaving.

Have a good day!

My blog Franco's Fiber Adventure

http://francosfiberadventure.blogspot.com/

Comments

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 17:54

Hi Franco,

Welcome to the group and thanks for opening up this introduction thread.  Is there anything in  particular you would like to see about backstrap weaving? For example, construction and mechanics of the loom? I have posted some projects if you would like to take a look at some of things that are possible to make on this type of loom.

Posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 21:07

Thank you for your reply.

Is your name Warmi or something else?

If there is a website with samples of the backstrap loom, I would love to see links to them!

Have a good day!

Franco Rios

Posted on Thu, 06/25/2009 - 06:41

Hi Warmi, and Franco! I'm Caroline from Australia, and my first loom was a backstrap made from broom handles, way back when............. and the inspiration was Rachel Browns  "Weaving Spinning and Dyeing Book", one of the very few weaving books available at that time. Between that, and cards made from playing cards, I managed to weave quite a bit, before building myself an F-shaped inkle loom, and finding a second hand 4 shaft floor loom. I'm still interested, though my interest is not confined to South America as I find the Asian weaving techniques and traditions just as fascinating.

The rise of the internet has made it so much easier to find out about textiles from other countries, and there is sooooo much we can learn from them, and so little time to put it into practice!

Franco, the website you need  belongs to Carol Ventura - its fascinating!

http://www.backstrapweaving.com/

 

Posted on Thu, 06/25/2009 - 19:54

Thank you for the link Caroline!

That is an inspiring website.

So I have rigid heddles, an 8 dent and a 10 dent. Would that be better for a beginner to use?

Or should I use a string heddle stick like I use on a Navajo style weaving?

What about making string heddles with an eye in the middle? Then mount that on a wood frame, maybe a picture frame or a canvas frame? I saw a link where a man made heddles with craft sticks/popsicle sticks?

http://www.bobscrafts.com/bobstuff/backstrp.htm

I know where to get broom handle sticks. And I have some wool yarn that I want to weave into scarves without having fringe or tassels. I'm thinking I could warp a six or seven foot piece, then use twining edge cord to get a nice smooth end.

Have a good day!

Posted on Thu, 06/25/2009 - 22:44

I think the traditional way is similar to the Navaho string heddle. This is the first shaft. Then there is a large round stick to separate the second shaft naturally. Other picks sit behind that,also on a long string heddle. To make it easier to attach the string heddle, you can make a channel in the wood at each end, otherwise the string can slide off - guess how I know??

Its interesting that in many Asian cultures, the backstrap loom is incorporated into the floor loom, the seated weaver strapped to the front bar of the loom, which can have 4 shafts with heddle harnesses and treadles and a fixed frame. The warp is not wound around the back beam, but while still chained, its tied to an upright pole in the ground, or even stratched back on itself. So there is no one "correct" way to set up a backstrap loom, although each country that still uses it has its own traditions and unique practices. The fabrics woven on these looms is generally magnificent, as in Thai silk, and many of the fine eastern Ikat fabrics. Our 8 and 10 dpi reeds seem very coarse in comparison!

I have a couple of sleeveles jackets made by the Hill Tribes in the Golden Triangle. Both have cross-stitch embroidery, as well as inlay, and are beautifully woven. I'm not sure what the fabric is made from, as its much stiffer than you would expect from cotton. But they were made on backstrap looms many years ago, before civilisation and the Western world became too intrusive, so it might be banana or nettle.

Posted on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 05:45

Hello all

I haven't actually tried a backstrap loom yet, but I have plans to! My intention is to get the material to build my loom this summer, and hopefully start weaving on it too. I now there's very little equipment needed to build this kind of loom, but I still need to get the wooden parts, and I never seem to find the time for that.

It's comforting to know there is a forum dedicated to this kind of weaving, once I get started.

My interest in backstrap looms started last fall, just by chance, when I found a book at our local second hand store, called something like Backstrap weaving in Guatemala (Bjerregaard), and then the Online guild had a workshop on it this spring (unfortunatley, I was unable to participate). And now this forum. It feels like the universe is trying to tell me to something... :)

Posted on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 08:37

I have the Bjerregaard book, as well as one by Marilyn Anderson on Guatamalan Textiles, and some of my other weaving books too devote a lot of chapters to South American weaving - there is a lot of information around, and once you have the string for the heddles, and a couple of broomsticks, dowel and an S-hook, we won't see you for dust, lol! In some cultures, the first thing you weave is the backstrap itself - a nice belt to hold you inside the loom!  I made mine using card weaving, which also uses the backstrap for tension.

And if you don't have a handy tree, you can brace the back beam against your feet and sit on the floor with your legs stretched out, which is when the phone always rings, or the cat sits on your lap, lol!.

Posted on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 14:38

Caroline Wrote: "And if you don't have a handy tree, you can brace the back beam against your feet and sit on the floor with your legs stretched out, which is when the phone always rings, or the cat sits on your lap, lol!."

That sounds handy, but what if I want to make something longer than my 30 inch trouser leg measurement?

Have a good day!

Posted on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 23:53

Hi Francorios, bolivian warmi here, or Laverne if you prefer. I f you don´t have a convenient tree or post to tie up to perhaps you have something horizontal. I actually prefer lashing the whole far loom bar to something horizontal like the wood at the base of my bed.  Perhaps you have a porch rail you could use.The whole thing feels more stable to me that way. Sometimes when you have rope going from each end orf the loom bar to a hook or post the warp tends to flip about. The ideal situation is having something to tie up to AND something to brace your feet against. It is a bit easier on your back. I usually start weaving seated on the floor on one side of my bedroom with nothing against which to brace and gradually creep my way up to my bed , by rolling up the finished work  as i go.I have my loom tied to the bed base. as I get closer  I get to brace my feet against wood sheets that are under the bed. I could always wind a tubular warp ito make the whole thing shorter and , therefore within reach of my ´´ foot bracer´´ or I could just roll up the excess on the far loom bar by adding an extra rod.You can see photos of my loom set-up on my Flikr page. My user name is Verny2  or use this link......

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

I have posted instructional photos in response to specific questions from Ravelry members so it´s a bit all over the place! Hope they help in some way.

Posted on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 23:39

Hi Manicgirl,

You probably have most of what you need to get started lying about the house. Perhaps you can use the handle of an old broom, mop, garden rake or even toilet plunger..don´t laugh, I´ve done it!!! You will need two lengths from the handle a bit wider than your hip width. you can even use pencils as your lease sticks and heddle rods and weave something almost as wide as the pencils. i did this once when I was on the road and couldn´t find anything else. Most people I have seen like to use some kind of nylony slippery string for their heddle string but I just use the same 8-2 cotton as  Igenerally use for the warp. An improvised batten can be made from a wooden ruler.  The backstrap may be harder to improvise. I have seen weavers here using those plastic woven sacks that  hold rice and grains. They just fold it into a rectangle and scrunch up the ends and tie them into a knot. They tie a rop around the knot and then loop that around the ends of their loom bar. Maybe not that comfortable but something like that will do until you can weave your own backstrap as Caroline said. I once used a kitchen towel in the same way. Anyway.... i have some photos on my flikr pages that you may like to look at........I have posted them in answer to random questions from people at Ravelry so they are a bit all over the place but maybe they will help you to get up and running together with Carol ventura´s wonderful site.

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

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 01:04

hi Franco, somewhere on Carol Ventura's pages there is a photo of an Indonesian weaver from Bali, if my memory is correct, sitting on the ground with her legs outstretched. The warp is a long one, and the extra is wound onto the warp beam/dowel then lashed to another piece of dowel to stop it unravelling. This is what she keeps under tension with her feet!

In Nepal, they keep the warp chained, and clamp it under tension to a handy upright, which is probably not as convenient if you have to keep getting up to adjust everything to wind the warp on, but given the widths these weavers make, it would not be wound on that frequently. Many of the Asian village looms are a sort of hybrid loom, part backstrap and part  floor loom with shafts and treadles, so they can be taken apart for storage in the roof. I stumbled upon this while doing research for another project, so no prize for guessing who got sidetracked, hehe!

I'm now reading about the nomads of Ladahk, who also use backstrap looms, and have their own weaving traditions, and it will be interesting seeing how  the techniques compare to the South American techniques, as Ladahk and Nepal have been pretty isolated until the last 20 years or so; parts of Nepal beyond where the roads finish are still only accessible by foot and porter, and its only recently that Pakistan has allowed Westerners into Ladahk, with tragic results.

I'm sure there is a lot that we can learn from these traditional weavers, hopefully before their culture and traditions vanish forever.

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 01:35

Although it looks like her feet are providing the tension in Bali, it's actually the frame that supports the warp on the far end. Her feet are just resting on the bottom of the frame. The backstrap is a carved piece of wood, with a flattened area in the middle for her body.

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 07:35

Thank you Carol, for the explanation. Trying to tension the warp using your legs could really leave you with sore calf muscles, unless you're into yoga! Not to mention what it would do to the coccyx........doesn't bear thinking about! I like my comfort too much these days and once its warm enough to go outside to weave and spin, it will be interesting to see if my backstrap still fits - its over 20 years since I last wore it!

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 20:35

Hi.  My name is Tina, but you could probably guess that from my user name.  I have several floor looms and have done inkle and card weaving.  I also spin.  We do a lot of traveling in our RV and so I'm checking out other ways to weave when we're camping without taking up a lot of space with a table loom.   I hope to learn a lot from this group!

Posted on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 21:38

Hi Tina,

My name is Laverne. I am away from my home right now..I live in Santa Cruz in the jungly lowlands of Bolivia...and I am spending some days up in the highlands visiting some weaving villages and markets. I have just gotten back from a village and have my backstrap loom with work in progress rolled up here with me in my day pack. I took it with me as it is always a great ice-breaker when I travel and want to make contact with the weavers here. At night when I am alone in the hostel I tie up to the bed and weave. So this may be something good for you to take along on your RV trips.

Posted on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 01:23

Hi,

I'm interested in backstrap weaving, but haven't actually started yet.  I bought a backstrap loom from Weaving Southwest in Taos, New Mexico.  It's modeled on the one in Rachel Brown's book, "The Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing Book."  The backstrap itself is a piece of leather wider than a belt that I think will be very comfortable.

Mainly I'm confused by all of the different sets of directions I've accumulated from the web and different books.

I'm interested in weaving the fabrics in the Pervian style described in the book "Double-Woven Treasures from Old Peru" by Adele Cahlander with Suzanne Baizerman.

I think I'm going to start with some narrow pieces with only a few warps before I start on something wider and more complicated.

Now that I'm finding all the backstrap stories here, I'm reading them with great interest and admiring the photographs and projects.

[email protected]

Posted on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 02:15

Hi Colleen and welcome to the forum,

I have learned many kinds of weaving techniques on  backstrap, ground looms and vertical looms here in Bolivia where I live and also in Peru and Ecuador. I also have the book you mention ''Double-Woven Treasures of Old Peru''. It's fabulous. I am sure that i will be able to help you weave something from there and we can all help with setting up your loom. I have a project on my loom right now and my next one will be the balanced double cloth on page 52. I have not seen anyone here who still practices this technique although I have been told that the Huichol in Mexico do.

I have kept detailed notebooks of the techniques I have learned with step- by- step photos which I can upload here when needed. Is there any particular project that you are interested in and which I can help you with? It is indeed a good idea to start with narrow pieces and there are many ideas for those in the Cahlander book.

Are you able to upload photos of your backstrap and loom to the other ''getting started'' thread?.  We would love to see them.

Laverne

 

Posted on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 02:03

Could I ask what you are reading about Ladahk and Nepal?  I'm very interested in Central Asian weaving and have been working to learn how to use a ground loom and trying to learn to weave yurt bands.  I found a video of a Mongolian man weaving on a backstrap loom  just yesterday, tied to the side of his yurt.  I'm rabidly interested in Central Asian weaving.  Thansk, Virag:>

Posted on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 20:03

hello,

im jess, i live in cornwall and am actually a spinner, braider (mainly sling braiding at the moment) and learner tablet weaver. i stumbled across backstrap looms on ravelry and realy fancy having a go. large static looms have never realy apealed to me (thus the tablet weaving) , i prefer the simplicity and  portability of something that can be packed away and carried very eaily (im a spindle spinner if you havent alredy guessed).

 

ps. i sould probubly mention that im dyslexic , and therefore my spelling should be taken with a pich of salt.

Posted on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 21:11

Hi Jess,

Welcome to the group.I learned sling braiding in Peru many years ago and have a small collection of slings from Peru and Bolivia. Are you using Adele Cahlander's book or did you learn from someone over there in Cornwall or in another country?

On our ''getting started in backstrap weaving'' thread you will see photos and links posted by members to help you put together a basic loom.

I always travel with my loom rolled up in my daypack,a drop spindle and a portable warping board.

Hope you will get inspired here to start backstrap weaving.

Laverne

 

 

 

Posted on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 01:04

hi Jess, I'm a spindler too. I like getting really close to the fibres and feel them  slip through my fingers as they become yarn. I'm probably as fast on a spindle now as I am on a wheel. My first attempt at weaving was using cards - in a backtrap loom. I haven't done it for many years, but I have a large pergola out the back that begs to be used in summer. I'm an Aussie so its wet and miserable here at the moment.

Virag, the book I'm reading about Ladakh is called  "Living Fabric weaving among the Nomads of Ladakh Himalaya" by Monisha Ahmed. I got it through amazon second-hand. The other little booklet I have is a monograph by Susie Dunsmore called "the Nettle in Nepal". This can only be obtained in the UK via WH Smith booksellers, and I'm lucky, I still have family there.

 

Posted on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 01:44

Thank you very much.  I just ordered it off Amazon for eight dollars and am looking forward to reading it:>.  I actually have an uncle in England who's traveling home this summer so I will email him tomorrow and see if he can obtain the Dunsmore book for me...maybe I'll get very lucky:>.  Thank you for this information!

Posted on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 15:26

i learned sping braiding from a very nice chap i met when i joined the local WSD group . he also recommended cahlanders book, and i also managed to get my hands on a copy of owens one. cant find a supplyer for taka's book though, if you know of one in the uk (i can only find them in the US, very annoying) please say. 

 

caroline, ive tried a wheel but couldnt get on with it (i wish i could spin as fast as one though). i learnt to spin by making weaving yarn (actually a good thing, as overtwist, which i was prone to, wasnt a problem.) i would never give up the ability to go for a walk with my spinning gear and just plonk myself down and spin wherever i want. veyr relaxing.

Posted on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 19:47

i learned sping braiding from a chap i met at the local WSD guild. he recommended cahlanders book, i also have a copy of owens but cant get my hands on Tada's (if any one knows of a supplier in the UK, please say as i can only find US suppliers.)

caroline, i love to spin, though couldnt get on with a wheel (id love to spin as fast as one  though). i learnt to spin by making weaving yarn. probubly a good thing as i had a tednsancy to put too much twist in. im trying to master the subtile art of knittable singles at the moment. i love the freedome of taking my spinning kit for a walk and just setting down whereever i like to spin, wouldnt trade that for anything.

Posted on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 20:15

Roderick Owen's book has gone by two different names (no idear why)

Braids; 250 patterns from japan, peru and beyond (this seems to be the name of the most recent reprint)

but it also goes by "the big book of sling and rope braids"

i found this book a bit tricky to find in the uk, but it seems to be avalable from america more easily.

Makiko Tada's book "comprehensive treatise on braids ii; andean braids" (wich i would dearly like to get my hands on) seems only to be avalble from several sources (see link below) and is in japanese with an english intro but aparently the diagrams are rather self explanitory.

www.texte.co.jp/makiko/book.html

there are a couple other papers and bits ive run across on the subject, but they seem to be either so old they are practically unusable (before sling braiding was widely understood) or so obscure that they are probubly going to be impossible to get your hands on. the most promosingfollow,  there are several others in the back of cahlanders book but im not going to write them all out now (if your interested i'll pm them to you).

"Cloth, the Andean art" by Ed Franquemont

"sling braids in the macosani area of peru" by elayne zorn

 

Posted on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 21:08

Hi, I'm a felter, spinner, and beginner weaver. I enjoy tablet weaving, inkle, rigid heddle, tapestry, and cut pile weaving and so far plainweave on my 4 shaft loom.   I'm rabidly interested in Central Asian weaving styles which has caused me to start making ground looms to experiment with---backstrap looms on stakes:>.  I'm struggling to learn how to use the backstrap right now and very appreciative of the info and help Laverne has given me.  Right now I have a small backstrap loom tied to my 4 shaft loom and am working on getting the tension right to open and close sheds.  My next project will be a pebbleweave strap on it.  I'm currently practicing the technique on my inkle loom but with the shed set up like a simple backstrap loom ...

www.ladyvirag.wordpress.com

I'm really looking forward to learning a lot more about weaving on the backstrap loom and the various hybrid types of these looms:>.

Posted on Tue, 07/07/2009 - 22:29

Hi all!

    I've been backstrap weaving for a few months but am very much a novice. I like to make hair bands and mandolin straps from yarn. I also have an inkle loom but need to get a bok so I fully understand how to use it-(got it to make more detailed  mandolin straps) I also am learning how to spin using a drop spindle. I play Irish,medieval & ren styles on mandolin,along with some old time fiddle tunes. Looking foward to getting to know everybody!

Posted on Wed, 07/08/2009 - 04:00

Hi Sherrie,

Do you have any photos of your pieces to post here? We'd love to see them and the loom you are using too.

Laverne

 

 

Posted on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 02:07

I was wrong! I just received the following from Jean Howe of Threads of Life, who says, "Yes the feet up against the forward brace of the loom is critical as it is what gives the tension in the loom. She actually adjusts her tension by moving forward or backwards to release the tension at the strap around her back."

Posted on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 15:51

Hi all,

I'm Reetta and I've just started weaving - as a kid I played around a bit with a rigid heddle and a type of backstrap band weaving loom, but haven't done much since then. I knit, crochet and now also spin and I've always been interested in weaving, but there hasn't been space or time for a loom!

Lately on Ravelry (my screen name is Wanderingskopos there, too) weaving-related things have kept popping up, one thing led to another and I realised that while a floor loom won't work, a backstrap loom could be rigged up very easily from a few sticks and a bit of string. A couple of days ago I did just that and warped up for a narrow band! It's a lot of fun, exactly as I remember it from my childhood attempts, and I'm looking forward to learning more.

Posted on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 17:46

Hi My name is Karina I live in the UK. I am so far not a weaver, but am aiming to change that.  I would love to learn how to make my own backstrap loom and then learn how to use it.  I usually knit and have just recently learn to crochet. i also have a spinning wheel but so far have not learnt how to use it.  My 3 year old daughter keeps interferring with it when it is out so will try again when she goes to playgroup everyday starting September.

Posted on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 17:56

Hi and welcome to both Karina and Reetta.

Reetta, thanks for all the links you posted to the ''links thread''- a great opportunity to see weaving from your part of the world. My mission now is to track down that book.

Karina,hopefully the things that members have posted so far on the ''getting started'', ''warping'' and ''heddling devies'' threads will enable you to buid and set up your own backstrap loom. If not, there are plenty of people here willing and able to answer your questions.

Laverne

 

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 11:30

Hi everyone, I have a long-time interest in learning backstrap weaving, but don't have a backstrap loom yet. Last week we had some guests from the Association of Andean Artisans, traditional Quechua and Ayamara weavers from the highlands of central Bolivia at the MN Weavers Guild giving a demonstration and presentation. They inspired me to start thinkng about backstrap weaving again.  I have Rachel Brown's book and Double Weave of Peru. Laverne, your photos are wonderful! Thanks for sharing them. I'd love to go to S.America and learn from the masters.

Jan 

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 13:58

Hi jan,

Wonderful that the Bolivian weavers went to visit you guys. Did you take photos? Can we see one or two-you can post here.

Do read the tips here and try and put a loom together. There are four members that I know of that have that ''Double Woven Treasures of Old Peru'' book  and maybe we can have a weave-along at some stage picking a project from that book. Another excellent book is 'The Art of Bolivian Highland Weaving''also by Adele Cahlander.

Laverne

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 10:05

HI Laverne, Sorry I din't take pictures. I wish I would have.

I have looked at "The Art of Bolivian Highland Weaving". It is on my wish list. :~)

Jan

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 15:46

Sling braiding?

I probably should not ask because I need another project like a bug needs another squirt of Black Flag insecticide.

But what is sling braiding?

Have a good day!

Franco Rios

 

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 15:48

Hi Everyone.  I just joined this group and having read all of the introductions I'm really glad I did.  I have done tablet weaving and Navajo style tapestries, but not on a backstrap loom.  I'm mostly interested because I love the primitive practicality of these simple weaving arrangements.  I also love the textiles made on them.

Bonnie.

 

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 17:30

I think I 'll start a new topic for getting suggestions for a weave-along some time in the next months. Hopefully that will get some folks excited about putting a loom together.

Laverne

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 20:54

I am a spinner, weaver, fish net maker, basket weaver, knitter among sundry crafts.  I went to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2007 when the Mekong river region was presented and there were many extraordinary weavers there.  Some were backstrap weavers and I became fascinated with them.  I don't have one and haven't woven on one but am excited to learn and connect with others who do weave on them.

Posted on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 03:22

Hi and welcome. Did you happen to take pictures of the Mekong River weavers?-would love to see them.

There are lots of tips here on how to put a basic backstrap loom together if you'd like to try and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Laverne

Posted on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 22:11

Hi, my name is Emma and I'm a wanna-be weaver. The lovely Laverne pushed me in this direction from another website and I thought I'd join up.

I'm from the east  coast of Australia, 26 years old and am currently studying Agriculture at a college a few hours from my home town. I spin wool and crochet and although weaving has also interested me I've just never had the time or money to go and buy a loom (or at the moment the space!), so when I saw the idea of Backstrap weaving I though "This might just be what I'm looking for!". So after cruising around several websites I went out and got myself some 3/4 inch dowel and cut it into a bunch of foot long pieces and picked up some cheap rope.

Look forward to chatting with you all and picking up suggestions etc.

Em

Posted on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 23:14

hi Emma, I'm Caroline, in Adelaide, just so you know you're not a lone Aussie! This is a lovely bunch of people, and a pretty active forum, so don't be afraid of asking questions! I learned to weave on a backstrap loom, and am coming back to it after a gap of too many years.

Try and get hold of Rachel Brown's book: The Weaving Spinning and Dyeing Book. It is in the public library system, otherwise there is a second -hand copy on ebay au for $20.00. That is an excellent book to start off with! Her explanations are good and the diagrams are excellent, and she has interesting projects. The other books mentioned here are very good, but far more heavy going, so not ideal for a newbie. They are also hideously expensive ( the Cahlender is over $100.00), unless you can find a cheap copy at Amazon.

Posted on Wed, 07/22/2009 - 03:30

Pardon me. I just realized I made an imcomplete posting at the beginning of this thread.

I'm Franco Rios from Sacramento. CALIFORNIA USA, I guess I assumed you all would know which city of Sacramento I live in.

I have been weaving for the last couple years. I also like to spin. I tend lean toward primitive fiber tools. I'm interested in seeing more info about backstrap loom weaving. I've finished one piece and am planning the next one to start soon.

Have a good day!

Franco Rios

My blog is Franco's Fiber Adventure

http://francosfiberadventure.blogspot.com/

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 03:00

Hello,

My name is Carolyn.  I have done a little backstrap weaving.  Mostly inkle style straps and and 2 simple scarves.  I am really interested in learning new patterning techniques.

I am going to go look at the recommended books section next.

This group seems really well organized and energetic, I am looking forward to learning from everyone!

Carolyn

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 03:20

Hi Carolyn and welcome,

Do you use a rigid heddle on your backstrap loom or do you use string heddles?

We are going to do a weave-along as soon as a couple of  new backstrap weaving members are up and running with their looms. We hope to do plain weave for ''never-evers '' and patterning for those with experience. If you have any ideas or suggestions we would love to hear from you on the weave-along thread.

Laverne

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 14:44

Hi Laverne,

I use rigid heddles, but would be interested in learning more about string heddles.  Do you make your own as in an inkle loom? 

My husband and I worked out a nifty tensioning device for my 16" rh which allows me to weave long, wide (relative to an inkle strap) pieces and roll them up as I go.  It also allows me to spread out the warps so that I can weave a balanced weave.  Sort of like a simple rigid heddle loom where my body and a tree trunk make up the frame of the loom.

The piece in your photo is beautiful.  I would love to hear more about how you learned to make such intricate and beautifully designed work. 

I think the weave along is a great idea.  I belong to another group where the list mom and a couple of other key people chose a pattern and everyone is weaving something (or several somethings) in that pattern.  People apply challenges to themselves at their level.  Since I am a relatively new weaver, I chose to make a scarf for my first project, others are making garments or designing the pattern into something far more elaborate and individual.

I like the idea of having two levels to the wal since some folks will be ready for and interested in patterns and some will not, but I think it would be a good idea for the different levels to be tied together somehow. A color scheme or a fiber choice maybe?  That way everyone can help everyone else.  Also, an album of weavings with common qualities would be wonderful!

Thanks for putting this list together and for your warm welcome!

Carolyn

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 15:01

Wonderful Carolyn!

I think you are the only one here who has actually participated in a weave-along so you input is much appreciated.

We are thinking of doing a double weave band with a pick-up pattern for the experienced backstrap weavers. This is one of the easiest pick-ups of all those I have learned here in South America and you can make the design as simple or as complex as you like. As for the never-evers your suggestions would be welcome. That's an interesting idea to tie the two groups together.

I have yet to try a balanced weave on my backstrap loom but it is high on my list-a double balanced weave that I have in a book-an ancient Peruvian technique so I will do it with string heddles. I think it will be a challenge keeping the warps spread consistently.

I use continuous string heddles like those pictured on the ''heddling device'' page. Both Franco and Caroline have posted pics. I have a slightly different system for winding mine-I think a posted a link to my Flikr page for that- but you will get the idea from those pics.

Please feel free to post a photo of your scarf at the Members' Gallery. I am feeling lonely over there!! I t would be great to see your loom too and the system that your husband made-at the gallery or on the ''getting started'' page. Let me know if you need help with posting pics.

Laverne

 

Posted on Wed, 07/29/2009 - 23:48

Hi, my name is Andrea D Shuman, but I go by the nickname Cookie. I have a 4 Harnest table loom on a stand so it looks more like a floor loom.  About 4 rigid heddle loom, a couple of inkle looms and several small looms and looms you do continuous weaving on.

I did but together some dowels that I carved the ends on for a backstrap loom, and although I found a book that shows how to  start weaving and do different pick up designs.

 

 

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