I really looked forward to the weaving classes this semester. Learning how fabric, my main medium, is created has just something very magical about it. There are countless myths, stories and fairytales were weaving plays an important part (The Odyssey, Lady of Shalott, The Wild Swans for example) and I love them all.
Because of time restrictions, we just wove on small looms – there are several big looms in our school as well, but just attaching the warp would take a whole day, and we just had 3x 6 hours. At first, the instructions were to experiment with materials: We should use at least ten different ones for the weft, they could be thread, wool, fabric strips, tulle, feathers, raffia, lace, ribbons, trims, paper or even strips of transparent folders, cassette tape or small objects enclosed in Sellotape.
I tried to stick to a colour scheme (which changed from blues and greens to reds and browns) and just tried some things out… Pictures of this first piece are the ones below. The ones on the top of this post are from my workpiece. I wanted to make a pouch bag out of feathers and tulle, with a very organic, bohemian vibe. I chose a natural colour scheme and just wove away. Tulle, feathers, wool, lace trim, grosgrain ribbon…. I made two 64 cm long and 18 cm wide strips, which I then hand-sewed together – first the two lenghts and then, folding it, I closed the two sides. I attached small brass curtain rings at the top edge and now it just needs a lining – due to the light tulle, it won’t be strong enough for real usage otherwise.
Weaving was probably my favourite class this semester. I also decided to order one of these hand-looms, so that I can play around with them during the holidays…. Very excited, I already have some vague plans of what I want to try and then make out of the pieces. In case you’re interested, have a look at this video, which shows you how the typical Chanel tweed is created – a very similar process, only they use textured warp as well.