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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Two new ways to use your Schacht Flip rigid heddle loom

Schacht Spindle Co. recently celebrated their 40th anniversary with a contest, both for spinning and weaving novices and experts. One option was to upload videos to youtube of Schacht products or weaving/spinning contest entries on the Schacht tools... so of COURSE I had to go that route :)

I've been thinking about the contest for a while and tho I didn't feel I had any chance against true expert spinners (I entered my tour de fleece skein and my mohair/silk I just wrote about in the spinning +2 years/expert category), I did think I should use the weaving contest portion as an opportunity to look at my Flip in a different way. You may remember I love using the Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle book as inspiration... hopefully these vids will inspire someone else :)

First, I used the Flip as a frame for tablet/card weaving, and wove a beautiful strap for a bag I wove. Originally I was going to enter the bag into the contest (handspun wensleydale warp and handspun supercoil weft, both dyed by Black Bunny Fibers, but I think the strap was more interesting to talk about in a video.


You may notice this looks nothing like "regular" tablet woven bands-- instead of using several colored warp threads and a pattern, I warped the Flip as if I were plain weaving using the direct warping method and let the pattern emerge from the beautiful yarn. If you look closely you can see the undulating wave pattern from when I turn the cards forward and back, it's even more striking in person.


Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock lightweight in Sunstone, if you MUST know :) I used about 1/2 of the skein for the band? I haven't weighed the leftovers yet, but it's enough for something.

I've always been tangentially interested in tablet weaving, but for reals... I am LAZY. I don't want to measure and wind warps (I know I'll get emails and I'll try it someday, promise!)-- but direct warping and relying on yarn for patterning made for a FAST project that was easyeasy. I love it, I think I'll make a camera strap for my Lumix later... and Kristine will have to make one for her new camera (i know you have some "sample sale" yarns to use up ;))

Speaking of easy... you may know I have a kid who is the apple of my eye :) We work on silly projects together like painting and drawing and those types of creating endeavors-- not really fiber. I always want to get him knitting and spinning and weaving, but his lack of any attention span coupled with his hardheaded nature (who knows where that came from!) means it's mainly been a short adventure. I have been thinking a lot about resist dyeing with wax for ikat-style patterned warp and decided I could modify the idea into something my son and I could work on together-- so I direct warped the loom with heavy sportweight non-mercerized white cotton and pulled out our textile paints. He painted the warp directly on the loom and then I wove it.


I used the same weft as warp-- I thought about dyeing the entire fabric with fiber reactive dyes via low immersion dyeing for even more interest, but haven't decided yet. The fabric will end up eventually as a bag for him, it's stiff but I think once the paints have been heatset they'll be a bit more pliable. I'll wash it in finishing and think the cotton will pull in quite a bit, if not I'll make a bag liner (yay for my sewing 101 class and Kira K! :))

The painting went well...


...we used 7 different colors, but with the "metallic" addins of the Jacquard Lumiere its a bit hard to differentiate metallic purple from metallic pewter in pictures.

I really love it. It was easy enough to do with the boy-- the paintable area of warp in front of the heddle was perfect for a short attention span that returned once I had dried and woven over the painted portion, and he loved being able to pick and choose his own colors and "designs." I'll definitely be thinking about direct warp painting as a "grownup" project-- eventually I want to use some soy wax and tjanting tools to paint soy wax onto the warp and cold water dye the resulting fabric, and use thickened fiber reactive dyes for a more wearable/less stiffened (read: scarves, etc.) fabric. Maybe even break out my vintage wood type ampersand collection and stamp a fine warp.

It was nice doing this as a jumping off point for more possibilities of direct warp painting, especially since my baby started KINDERGARTEN and I'm so ... oh, you know :) Everything! This was our last project before he started school, so even more special.

The videos:

Tablet weaving on the Schacht Flip rigid heddle loom:

Direct warp painting on the Schacht Flip rigid heddle loom:

(unfortunately the white warp is doing some weird psychadelic dancing because of the HD video being condensed down to nothing :( )


kimchi said...

WOW! Those woven items look amazing! I especially like the painted project. And the little one is getting so BIG! My niece went to her first day of daycare(she's 18months) today and she cried all morning...but so did the other kids in her group! It's amazing how quickly they grow.
Hang in there and sending you a big hug. :o)

Jenifer said...

Totally cool! Your videos are great!

Adrienne said...

That TW band is gorgeous! Have you seen Linda Hendrickson's video on continuous warping?

Rachel said...

You are so talented!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, your baby is SO DAMN CUTE! I like the videos. Nicely done!

Kristine said...

Love the 2 pieces you made - and love the videos. And, yes, the camera strap, I must make one. have you heard of split ply twining? It's a type of off loom weaving that they do in the desert of Rajasthan? You can make all sorts of figures. Would also be great for a camera strap...

adrienne said...

Gorgeous stuff, as always! I love the strap, it's so orangey-awesome.

(and your camera sounds interesting - I want a wide angle lens for my camera)

Ann said...


Anonymous said...

What great ideas, I really like the warp painting.

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