Developing design ideas into weaving

Posted by Agnes Iley , Monday, July 23, 2012 8:14 AM

Don’t run…..

My first attempt at developing my design ideas was a good reminder of the old saying “don’t run before you can walk”, but seeing as it taught me a lot I figured I need to own up…

imageUsually I hate having pictures taken, but my husband was playing with a new app on his phone and came up with this picture of me that reminded me of some block prints by Edvard Munch I had recently seen. So I wondered if I could turn it into a tapestry. So I printed the picture, attached it to the loom and started weaving. All went reasonably well I thought. And I spent a long time wimageeaving the picture. Did I think that varying weaving direction would create bias fabric that would pucker? Of course not, And as long as the piece was under tension the problem wasn’t visible. But when I took it of the loom, disaster! I considered wetting the tapestry and blocking it with an iron. But then I thought that nothing would shrink that much!

However, I really want to try and utilize this puckering effect in the future. I like the texture it creates and surrounded by solid straight weave I can see it making a very interesting tapestry.  Either in an abstract tapestry, where it would create texture or in a “picture tapestry” as a rolling sea with embroidered foam on the peaks.

imageThis piece had one other redeeming feature there was one corner that I liked and this was the base for my “Developing design ideas into weaving” – mark II.

Mark II

So I needed to rethink. One small corner of my “disaster” weave did appeal to me. But did I really want to weave another flat solid piece? Not really, so I wondered if I could weave a shape, sew it and turn it into a dimensional shape. So I decided on a (partial) vase. I drew the design inspired by the little corner of the previous work and started weaving.

Now this one had it’s challenges as well, especially were the design ran from one shape into the next. But I did learn from my previous mistakes and there was no imagepuckering this time! This little vase is woven with the thinnest wool I have ever seen, 2-ply Venne wool in 3 shades of grey. I doubled up on the wool mixing the colours. When I finished weaving and started to sew in the darts that would give it it’s shape, I had another “duh”-moment. I realized I could have just pulled the warp threads and that there wouldn’t have been any need for the darts! I lined the little vase with some fabric and pelmet Vilene. I made the handle by plaiting 8 double threads around some wire and backing this with a cord made of the same yarn.

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