I began weaving because a friend wanted to take a weaving course but she wanted to learn with a friend. I said I would join her and my husband's comment was..."Sure....but we're not buying a loom!". Long story short....my friend wasn't thrilled with weaving and I was. That year my husband bought me a holiday gift of a 36" Harrisville floor loom kit; we built it and I was on my way!
Over the last 20 years, most of my family and friends have received a variety of handwoven pieces. My "day job" was (and is) a consultant in Health IT (Information Technology) --specifically in the area of Electronic Health Records. During the last year I began seriously thinking about starting a small business for handwoven textiles concentrating on scarves, shawls and liturgical textiles (tallit). I've reduced my IT time and increased my Weaver time -- much more balance in my life!
I am a member of the Weaver's Guild of America, the Weaver's Guild of Boston, and the Lexington Arts & Crafts Society's Weaver's Guild.
I work mostly with Bamboo (called Bambu) yarn -- a relatively new source of fiber. Bamboo plants are the fastest growing woody plants in the world. Bamboo fiber is extracted from natural bamboo, and is made from the pulp of the plant. Bamboo is extremely resilient and durable as a fiber. In studies comparing it to cotton and polyester, it is found to have a high breaking tenacity, better moisture wicking properties, and better moisture absorption. [From Wikipedia] In addition, Bamboo is extremely soft and drapes well--perfect for scarves and shawls!
I use white Bambu yarn and measure it like any other yarn. Here's what it looks like before dying.
After dying, the yarn needs to cure to set the colors. This is followed by rinsing out the excess dye and allowing the yarn to dry completely. Here is a picture of the warp yarn (the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a loom) drying in my backyard!
After drying, the warps are chained so they don't tangle.
...and they're ready to use on the loom! See what's on the loom now!
My hand-dyed scarves and textiles are "one-of-a-kind" pieces with hand-dyed yarns and customized weave structures. I sometimes use commercially-dyed yarns as weft (The "weft" is the yarn that goes over and under the warp and is held on a shuttle that is thrown from side to side.) because their single color enhances the multi-colored hand-dyed warps. I also use novelty (unusual) yarns to enhance the pieces.
Commercially dyed yarns are used for some scarves when I want to concentrate on the weave structure rather than the color complexities. My textiles are designed on a computer after looking at the warp and trying many weave structures. When I'm convinced that I've found the weave structure that shows off the colors best I'm ready to set up the loom. Then I use the first few inches to see if the "marriage" between the yarn and the weave structure works. If not, it's back to the drawing board until I'm satisfied.
Below are a set of three scarves from my studio. I spend approximately 12-15 hours designing, dyeing, weaving and finishing (fringes and final washes) each scarf.
Every month or two I'll be showing a new set of Limited Edition Scarves for purchase. Let me know if you would like to be notified when a new set of scarves is available. My email address is HbyJ@comcast.net Otherwise, check back often to see the new pieces.
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