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Unique Ahrens Loom Available

This unique Ahrens Loom is for sale to the right person. It has 12 shafts, 14 treadles, and the weaving width is 36”. The warp and cloth wind directly on the front and back beams as in many looms that Jim Ahrens built. That is so that the front of the loom can be dropped to make the loom narrower for storing and going through doors.


The side tie-up (also signature Jim) means you don’t have to crawl under the loom to tie up the treadles. 


Here is the back. It’s available at Pacific Textile Arts in Fort Bragg, California. The asking price is $200 to the right person, and is negotiable. They are sure it was one of the looms Jim and his wife wove linens on for Gumps. It’s historic and needs a good home.

Contact: outreach@pacifictextilearts.org


Note from Peggy:

I’m pretty sure it’s made of Birdseye maple as most of Jim’s looms are. If not, then just lovely maple. Jim Ahrens is the A part of AVL. He consulted on the original AVL looms to make them engineered to weave as efficiently as the looms in England just before the Industrial Revolution. They are truly production looms.


Making Paper Threads: My Way

A bobbin with paper thread.


What I like is the irregularity of my thread: thick and thin and the black specks.


My thread is made from paper from Japanese account books I got at flea markets in Japan years ago. It’s commonly used for making paper threads. Long, long ago I made paper thread from old sewing pattern paper.


Before credit cards, people charged things on the pages in account books. Sometimes pages have red stamps which make the woven cloth even more interesting. I didn’t find any in this account book, though.


You take a page and fold and cut it in a certain way.


You pinch off the cut strips so you get a long length to make a thread.


You want a long length after you carefully pinch the uncut areas to separate the new thread from the cut paper.


Make a paper quill instead of using a plastic bobbin.


Starting the paper strip into the quill on the bobbin winder. I was told a spinning wheel can be used instead of a bobbin winder.


As you crank, guide the strip onto the tip of the winder so it twists the paper into the thread.


The thread will have lumps where the cut strips were pinched off the paper.


After twisting a bit, I wind the twisted paper onto the quill. Here you can see again that the paper was made into a long thread before twisting.


I used the clear illustrations and text to make my uneven threads with the slubs. You can also use the book to make paper that is absolutely regular if you prefer.


2024 Japan Trip, Day C – A Day on My Own: in two department stores

Japanese department stores are full of wonders. I wallowed in two near the Osaka train station all day. It was glorious to do whatever I wanted. Here’s what I bought. You’ll be surprised.
Here are what women wearing a fancy kimono would wear on their feet.


In the fine kimono department you ordered your “shoes” custom to go with your kimono.


Department stores have one or two floors with food courts. They have been crowded every time I’ve been in one. If fact on a trip years ago I was bumped into and fell flat. (Ambulance, hospital , stitches). Ever since I am very careful to watch where I’m going so that doesn’t ever happen again. In this case one of the floors was devoted to sweets and the other to a grocery store and many foods to take home.


Lots of individual designers have areas of interesting clothes. I bought this nice shirt. I liked the seam that was off center.


Went looking for an interesting apron and found this right away. In both stores there were lots of apron racks. This one has a little loop to hang a towel. What I really wanted was something way out with lots of pockets that I saw behind the counters where we ate. Most of what I saw were boring prints.


Then I found what I’d given up to find. An old fashioned mamma one. Look closely and see some lacey front. It has sleeves big enough to protect everyday kimono sleeves. It was in one of the kimono departments.


Here is the underware layer for a kimono. Had a fun experience finding them and then trying on one for size. Not sure what I’ll do with it but I think people will be interested.


Had lots of fun looking at the gadgets in the kitchen departments. It was a fun day searching out the odd things I wanted. I have a kitchen brush I got before Covid that needs to be thrown away. But it’s so handy because it hooks on my dish rack. So I finally got to the right gadget department and found one that I think will work. Found a mirror that I think will be good for checking for clear sheds in double weave.


After a delicious long soak in the deep bathtub, I treated myself to Room Service.


I bought sake in this jam jar a week ago and carried it with me in my suitcase. Tonight was the perfect time for it.


2024 Japan Trip, Day 13 – On Our Last Day a Demonstration by a Kimono Dresser

It starts with an under garment made of cotton and tied in place with elastic bands. The desired shape is for the body in a kimono to be a rectangle. (A woman with large bust line would wrap towels under her breasts to create the required shape )!! I went shopping for one for an adventure the next day angot one.


The kimono is put one. Note the green piece which will be part of the neckline.


A tape is put around so can hike up the length in a big tuck.


This cord secures the tuck that shortens the length.


A stiff band holds the obi flat.


Starting the bow of the obi. This took a good bit after manipulating.


The first knot in the obi.


A pad is placed inside to give the bow depth as the bow is getting started.


The completed bow.


The final view a few steps later.


We all were interested in this under garment.


We had a wonderful farewell dinner.


2024 Japan Trip, Day 12 – From a Crowded Resort Hotel to an Indigo Workshop in the Mountains

This was the crowd in the huge dining room in an enormous resort hotel on the Japan Sea. Last night I thought we were having a private room and this crowd was a shock. A buffet with lots of good things. This is actually the breakfast crowd.


Not a good photo but I wanted to catch a view of the Japan Sea where the resort hotel was as we drove away.


We drove 31/2 hours today passing many villages large and small nestled in valleys between the mountains. All had rice paddies.


Newly planted rice field. Another village.


More from our bus. A village and rice fields.


I couldn’t get enough of the villages and the progress of the rice growing.


Rice seedlings are planted with a tractor. I remember seeing people stooped over planting by hand on my first trips.


There were some fields of wheat in amongst the rice fields.


A scene in the country.


We had an indigo workshop in an old school building at the end of that lovely ride on the bus.


Of course the cloth comes out green right after it comes out of the indigo vat as usual. Then it turns blue as the oxygen gets to it.


2024 Japan Trip, Day 11 – Two Artists on Our Way Out of Kyoto

We visited the studio of Mr. Shinto, a very famous artist and indigo dyer. His technique we call pole wrapping or Arashi Shibori. Cloth is tightly pleated on a pole then put into the dye. The dye doesn’t get to the inner part of the pleats so the dye gets only to the edges of the pleats. I was very surprised to see the openness of the weave and thinness of the cotton fabric.


His set up for wrapping: cloth is bunched together one a beam and wound on to another beam where the cloth is tightly pleated. The second beam is actually a drum.


He uses these tools to push the cloth into tight pleats. Someone asked if he would sell the tools. They are from Amazon!!


Here is one of his poles filled with the tightly pleated cloth ready to be dipped into a deep dye vat. The vats are under ground to keep the perfect temperature.


We drove onward to the studio of Tamiya Roden where they have developed a way of putting mother of pearl onto paper, then cut it into strips to weave as wefts in high end textiles. In the photos see the shell and the gold strips.


These weft strips have the image of petals in the mother of pearl applied. The gold is gold leaf put onto Japanese paper—a traditional technique in Japan. I saw gold on paper wefts being woven the first time I came to Japan 50 years ago.


Here you can see that each paper weft only goes across the cloth just once. In other words a new strip is used for each weft. Fine regular wefts separate the strip wefts.


Again, one weft per strip. However on many cloths it looks like they figured out how to make a single weft go back and forth continuously.


2024 Japan Trip, Day 9 – Two Wonderful Visits Today Around Kyoto

First we went to the Kawashima factory where they wove gigantic theatre curtains.


Many curtains are made with tapestry techniques with multiple threads to make thick and heavy curtains.


They are woven on huge tapestry looms— the looms are as wide as a full curtain. We were not able to photograph them. They also make machine woven curtains today on jacquard looms.


We drove way out into the country to visit a famous artist Jun Tomita. Here he is with a painted warp. It is ready to wind onto the loom.


Here’s the long warp he has painted and he showed how he wound it onto the loom.


The warp was tensioned while painting and them less tension so the warp would have good tension while winding. People will recognize this tension device on AVL and Ahrens looms and looms around the world.


An interesting area he was weaving on another loom made with merino wool yarn. He then felts the cloth and these areas pop out.


Jun then invited us to have tea in his home. A fabulous day!!


2024 Japan Trip, Day 8 – A Pongee Silk Making Factory

Silk reeling. Wonderful to see this special silk being made (reeled) from larger silk cocoons that had two silkworms inside and both making silk with the two strands inside. One skein shows the silk just after the cocoons have been unwound (called reeling the silk). The fluffier one after the gum (serisin) has been removed. The smooth strands are what raw silk is. The other in this case is pongee silk.


A close look at the skein of the silk from the two-worm cocoons. I’m calling cloth woven with this as the weft as pongee. The warp threads on the looms were smooth only the wefts were of this irregular silk. I’ve never seen this before so am excited to learn about the reeling of these special cocoons.


Here is one of the women at reeling the silk. The cocoons are in a bowl of hot water.


Several cocoons are unwound and comprise one thread.


The first strands to come off are discarded. Then I’ve seen these made into very lumpy thread called kinds.


2024 Japan Trip, Day 4 – A Mixture of Scenes from Today

This morning a walk through a local market similar to our farmers markets in Takayama. Here the garage turned into half shop and half garage.


The car parking situations interested me along our walk.


I was happy to see the traditional way a shop keeper would wrap a purchase. I learned to allow several minutes for wrapping a purchase. Now they put in a plastic bag and use 3-4 pieces of scotch tape. Takes just as long. The old method was to use the smallest piece of paper possible. Surely only one piece of tape.


A common shape of small buildings. Apparently taxes were charged by the width of a lot. Here a shop is on ground floor. Often the garage would be there.


I liked the 4 stones to this shop entry.


Everyone seems to be planting their flowers in their tiny spots. Here grandpa is planting while the family watches. Grandma was in the doorway minding the pet dog. All on a Sunday morning.


The rice plants have been planted and the paddies flooded all over our part of Japan. I liked the reflection of the landscape in this rice paddy.


We spent the night with home stay people in the town of Shirakawago which is known for steep thatched roof houses gorgeous countryside.


Shirakawago village. Lovely rice paddies and thatched roof houses. We awoke in the morning to an earthquake warning on our phones. It was 100 miles north and 5.9. Only a few of us felt it.


2024 Japan Trip, Day 3 – A Shibori Festival in Arimatsu

We went to Arimatsu near Nagoya and lucked out that it was Saturday and a big festival honoring Shibori patterning was happening. A technique the town is famous for. Going there for the traditional architecture is special enough but the festival was a fantastic addition.


People dressed up in Shibori patterns.


Two ladies strolling in a break from the crowd.


It was packed. Cops had to direct the people traffic.


Men dressed up too.


These dogs in a prank got attention.


Stalls had Shibori items. Lots of T Shirts.


Demonstrating tying Shibori patterns before dyeing. Very involved tie dye it can be.


There were several demonstrators.


Lots of families were there.


The waitress came to serve me sake.


The only way to attack the glass of sake she poured me!


A Day of Saori  Weaving

We went to a Saori official business (school). Everyone had a loom for themselves. Sa means all have own dignity. And Ori means weaving. Read more: https://www.saoriglobal.com/


The looms were specially made for this process. Easy for anyone who hasn’t woven before. two shafts. A bobbin winder attached. A narrow shelf for the special shuttle scissors etc.


The shuttles were nice and had 2special things. Read on.


Easy opening the bobbin holder rod.


Two sizes holes. For finer yarn and bulkier textures.


To cut off the woven part instead of the 2-stick heading or trying on: the assistant laid this stick on top of the unwoven warp. See more.


The stick was pressed into the slot of a special stick and the warp wound round a few times.


The warp was cut in the previous photo and here wound round and round the stick.  Then to be attached to the loom front beam.


The stick with the warp wound on it was attached then to the front beam. Very fast and also secure with tension perfectly retained.


2024 Japan Trip Day 1 – A Day at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka

This is a fantastic museum complex. So modern and interesting is the museum itself. We saw a full size outrigger boat, huge collection of drums and music instruments from around the world, costumes, tools household and hunting devices. That’s just to name a few things. It is so, so interesting.


There was a special exhibition of masks. It made me understand how important they are in some cultures. In Japan especially. There were ancient simple ones made of wood and many for so many purposes. The ones kids made in art classes of simple cardboard to huge ones for ceremonies were fascinating.


This was the only photo allowed in the giant mask exhibition. I don’t know what it is about but fascinating.


The rose garden was to die for.


I thought this very interesting. A portable fan that also sprays a mist. It was by an outside eating area.


A large lake is on the grounds walled in by stone walls that look like they came from a castle grounds. This was a quiet waterfall.


I do love stone walls. The stones are huge. The grounds have a lot to offer.


Then back to our hotel in busy Osaka. Our hotel has the red stripe on the roof line. It’s right in the middle of things.


A Day in Kobe

We took a day trip to Kobe. Of course we got some Kobe beef.


There is soft ice cream every place there are tourists. I’ve had it 2 times already.


One stop was at a Japanese bath. A great soak after being in a van a long time.


This is the typical towel you get at a Japanese bath. Thin and a little over a yard long. You put it on your head while soaking. I never thought I would get dry but dried off by getting dressed.


Entry way to a place to eat. Now I know for sure in Japan.


Also seen a lot women with umbrellas to keep off the sun.


Paths and steps can be beautiful and thoughtfully made.


Two of my Creations at the O’Hanlon and I’m Off on Another trip to Japan

I’m pleased that my newest art weaving got into the O’Hanlon Art Gallery textile exhibit. I worked hard to make this art piece out of an experiment. It’s mainly a double weave tube that is split into two layers at the top. I wove it when I was weaving with fine silk threads at about 100 ends per inch.


Here’s a side view. The piece is attached to the background with a button holding. The  monofilament loop. It took a lot of planning to figure out how to present it. I covered plexiglass tubes with white felt then sewed the cloth to the felt. The background is a handwoven scarf from the Philippines. All the work was so it could be hung against a wall. My original idea was for it to hang in space.


ANOTHER TRIP TO JAPAN TO SEE TEXTILES!
I’m on my way to Japan. It’s a textile tour with a group from Australia with Valerie Kirk. What a relief to be on the way to the airport now!!


Kay Sekimachi: A Weaver’s Influencer at 98

This is the opening window of a beautiful show of work by Kay Sekimachi. What a smashing beginning to a gorgeous exhibition.


The second window in the exhibit gave the details. A group of textile people visited the exhibition at the San Francisco Airport in March to honor her 98th birthday. Kay lives in Berkeley, CA—our beloved neighbor and one of my teachers and an “influencer” since I began to weave.


I want everyone to notice this SAMPLER—a highlight at the beginning of the show. Here is a long, narrow piece in an art gallery! Imagine it. I was thrilled to see it right along with other art pieces.


Here is Kay at 98. More things to show in future posts. It was a wonderful day among us textile people. I was certainly with my tribe!


An Idea for Art in Kyoto and a Spectacular Shop for Dyes

Introduction:

This post was about an idea I got for an art piece and about a spectacular dye shop in Kyoto.  Hence, I’m thinking people may be planning a trip to Japan this spring. I am going again in May!

I really liked this piece. It’s lit but what I liked is the proportion—so-o-o short and wide.


Here is the piece close.


There was a short piece in the gallery’s shop. I still like the idea. Maybe with a really nice, dyed silk fabric. That’s awfully big for me but who knows what an idea will come to.


Our guide, personally took me in a taxi to this spectacular dye shop. There are so many fabrics of all types of fibers. I bought 10th meter of many pieces. This is how I happened to have so many different fabrics in my dyed piece for China. There were dyes, all kinds of brushes, tools, equipment—I try to get there every time I’m in Kyoto.


Here I am outside the shop with my bags. I look pretty tired, and I was at the end of a long day.


I couldn’t find the shop name in English at first, but here’s the top of my bill. I bought 8, 1-meter pieces and 4 pieces less than a meter. Mostly cotton this time. I also got some interesting brushes. Take your credit card along! We Googled to get the shop’s name and address for the taxi. TANAKA NAO SENRYOTEN is the shop name!! Now you have it both in English and in Japanese for the taxi driver.


A Wonderful Gathering of My Tribe

I went to our Conference of Northern California Handweavers over the weekend, and I had a wonderful time. I felt like I was famous! (Even though it is hard to take a selfie that doesn’t have to be read backwards!)


I went to tell weavers about my books, especially Weaving for Beginners which came out in 2010. I had thought I needed to keep it in people’s minds lest anyone forget about it! However, I heard it is flying off the shelves lately! Many people came up to me to say that they use my books and recommend them to all new weavers. (You see, I could figure out how to do a selfie.)


A Fourth Edition of weaving for Beginners will be out this summer or fall!


I was thrilled to hear how many people liked my blog on the website. My tech guy designed it maybe 14 years ago and continues to  maintain it and makes sure it looks professional. (I heard that it is  rated #2 for the best weaving blog!)


It’s easy to subscribe and join a lot of other subscribers. Go to my website at www.peggyosterkamp.com.

There are over 900 weaving, travel and dying posts. And over 100 weaving TIPS.


I was especially glad to hear that many are using the SEARCH feature to look up answers to questions that come up. That was my tech guy’s idea and a wonderful one. You can sort by over 170 categories. 


What to do when the Cross is on the Wrong Side of Your Reed? – Transfer the cross to the other side!

Introduction:

This is a process that front-to-back weavers may need to use. However, the other day I was putting a warp on the loom—the first since BEFORE the pandemic! I wasn’t sure if the cross was on the wrong side of the raddle since I was going to use my trapeze and I wasn’t too familiar with the set up. No worry, I thought, “I can transfer the cross to the other side of the raddle.”   See the final illustration below.

Again, most often the need to transfer the cross is when warping front-to-back. The illustrations are from the Front-to-b-Back Warping chapter in my book Weaving for Beginners.

Many weavers never need to do this procedure. But, if you have more than two threads in a dent in the reed, it is ideal to transfer the cross to the other side of the reed so you can thread the heddles in the exact order as the reed was sleyed. You will need one extra stick temporarily during the “operation”.


Transferring the Cross Step #1
Start on the side of the reed where the lease sticks are in place. Untie any ties holding the lease sticks in place or together. Turn the stick that is closer to the reed on its side, (the stick then makes a little shed). Push this stick right up flat against the reed. See the shed that has opened on the other side of the reed? Insert an extra stick through that shed. In the illustrations a round dowel is shown in the new shed on the  other side of the reed so you can tell it from the original lease stick. Remove the lease stick that you stood on edge at the reed.


Transferring the Cross Step #2
In the same manner as in Step #1, put the second stick up flat against the reed to form the little shed on the other side of the reed and put a new stick into this shed.

Remove the last original lease stick, and now, you should have a pair of sticks on the opposite side of the reed from where the original pair of sticks was.

For clarity, round dowels are shown being put in place on the other side of the reed. They would be replaced by the regular lease sticks after they have been removed from the original side of the reed.  


This is a common way that a loom is aet up for threading for warping front-to-back. You can see that the lease sticks are in front of the reed for sleyng the reed. For threading the heddles if more than two threads are in the dents, it’s a good idea to transfer the cross to the other side of the reed so you can thread the heddles from the actual cross.


This is how to thread the heddles. See that the weaver its sitting at the back of the loom. If the cross had been been transferred to the other side of the reed, it could be seen when threading the heddles.


Back-to-front warpers use a raddle. At first, I thought the cross was on the wrong side of the raddle and that I would have to transfer it to the other side using this process.


Isn’t the Cross a Wonderful Thing?Thread without Mistakes: Hang the Lease Sticks Vertically

This is my first warp since the BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC. It really feels good to be at the loom after such a long time. I’m thinking, “Isn’t the cross a wonderful thing?” I see it all over in my travels today. Its proper name is LEASE. I was going to use it in my books but was convinced “cross” was better. However, my press is called “Lease Sticks Press”.


Getting comfortable is what Jim Ahrens taught as the way to thread without mistakes. This is the set-up for you, the lease sticks, and the warp. I thought showing the illustration first would let you understand the actual photos better. Note that the lease sticks are hanging VERTICALLY. The illustration is from my book, Weaving for Beginners, which is available on my website.


Here is a side view of my loom with the cross hanging from my yellow broom handle.


Here is a close up showing that the top lease stick is tied to the broom handle, so the pair of sticks is hanging vertically.


Here I am at the front of the loom reaching to the back for the next warp from the cross with my threading hook. My other hand assists, steadying the heddle.


Here I am at the front of the loom. The photo was taken at the back of the loom.


Selvedges on Separate Shafts when you Can’t a Use Float Selvedge

Introduction:

Recently I got a comment about what to do about selvedges when using a fly shuttle and you can’t use a floating selvedge. I hadn’t thought of that circumstance before so decided a post was a good idea. I went down another rabbit hole very happily. This post discusses putting the selvedge threads on separate shafts. First is the 2-shaft version. Then follows a 4 -shaft version called a tape selvedge. I learned both from my mentor, Jim Ahrens and they are in my book, Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth

During Covid, I posted every other day! I don’t know how I did it. And in September 2020 I did several about selvedges. Two posts discussed weighting selvedge threads separately . You can see them HERE.

Part One

Part Two

When I searched for selvedges, there were lots of posts. Use the Search button and you can find quite a lot about selvedges. From winding the shuttles and throwing the shuttle and lots more.

Selvedges on 2 shafts:

Selvedge threads carried on their own two shafts, will always weave plain weave at the selvedge. They will be caught when the shed changes for the pattern or main weave structure. They should be weighted separately of course, because they will take up differently from the ends in the main cloth. Plain weave takes up the most of all weaves, which might make it weave too far ahead of the main weave. If that happens, and you have two more shafts, switch to a tape selvedge on 4 shafts. I think I would try finer selvedge threads before going to 4 shafts. With 4 shafts, the selvedges would weave in basket weave which doesn’t build up so fast—but it takes 4 shafts.

Which shafts?

I usually put the selvedges on the back wo shafts. However, if the warps are sticky, putting them on the front two shafts will force them to open better when making the sheds. For very long warps, and for the best balance, put the selvedges on the middle shafts: they won’t get lifted as high as on the back ones, so they won’t get so much wear and tear.

Thread the body of the warp according to your plan, but on each edge put four or so threads onto two shafts. If the body uses 4 shafts, then alternate the threads of each selvedge on shafts 5 and 6. The threading for each selvedge is: 5,6,5,6 or 6,5,6,5, depending on which edge you are threading, and which shafts the threads in the main part start and end on. If your main warp is to be a weave on 5 shafts, then the selvedges would be on 6 and 7. If the main warp uses 8 shafts, then the selvedges go on shafts 9 and 10, etc.

Remember, since they will be weaving plain weave, they will take up differently from the main warp so, of course they must be weighted separately.


The Tie-up

Tie up the treadles so every other shed lifts shaft 5 and the alternate sheds lift shaft 6.

It’s the tie-up that makes he selvedge and the main weave integrated, so be sure that the selvedge shafts alternate with each treadle in your sequence. See the illustration.

It’s desirable to have the main structure of the cloth weave with an even number of treadles. Then, both the main body and the selvedges will take an even number of sheds. An odd number of shafts in the body, such as a 5-shaft weave, would need 10 treadles to tie up to achieve the 5 sheds for the body and the 2 sheds for the selvedges. In other words, you would have to go through the weave sequence twice to complete a cycle, because the plain weave structure requires two sheds.

Or you can use two feet at once: one for the selvedge treadles and the other for the cloth structure.


Selvedges on 4 shafts: Tape selvedges

A tape selvedge is also called basket weave or 2/2 hopsak weave. One reason to use it is when the weave structure doesn’t make a neat selvedge. The warps and wefts will intersect less (or more) often than they do in the body’s weave structure, so you can get clean sheds at the selvedges. It makes a very neat selvedge, which can look as if it were commercially made. It is nice for rugs as well as for fabric.

This technique requires four shafts—two on each edge of the cloth. Four or six ends per selvedge work just fine.


The selvedge ends that are raised change only on one edge with each weft. At the other edge, the selvedge ends are raised or lowered as they were in the previous shed. See the illustration where the two sheds on the right are 1 and 2, and the two on the left are 3 and 4.

Note that the side that changes is the side where the shuttle enters the shed. (The X’s indicate the warp ends lifted over the weft.)


This illustration shows 4 selvedge threads at each edge. It shows how the tape is a true 2/2 weave with two warps threaded on one shaft, alternated with 2 threaded on the other shaft. The principle remains the same: to catch the weft, enter the shuttle on the side that has just changed.

You may have to adjust the density in the reed and the weight on the selvedge threads to get them to match the tension of the main warp. Of course, they will be weighted separately from the main warp. The take-up of the selvedge threads is usually less with a tape selvedge because it has fewer intersections of warps and wefts. The wefts should weave straight across the body, and at the selvedges, neither lag nor weave ahead. By the way, don’t make the tape super dense or use sticky, hairy, or loopy yarn.


This edge works perfectly with 8-shaft satins. The tape selvedge threads will intersect more often than the satin weave itself. The warps are usually very densely sleyed for satin and there aren’t enough intersections in the weave to interlace at the edge to make a good-looking selvedge. A tape selvedge with half the intersections of a plain weave selvedge works better than a two-shaft selvedge because the plain weave has too many intersections which causes it to build up faster than the satin. The tape’s sequence used twice equals one sequence of the satin. (Remember to add four shafts to the eight needed for the satin.)

A tape selvedge can prevent the edges of warp and weft faced weaves from curling when they are taken off the loom.

It would not be easy to use a tape selvedge for overshot patterns. Just think of the nightmare of keeping track of the four sheds of the selvedge along with the treadling for four overshot blocks. Of course, a computer driven loom could do it easily.


My Ring of Silks as Seen in China

Here is a picture of my Ring of Silks as it hung in the show in the China National Silk Museum last fall. I’m thrilled that the museum people just now sent me this photograph. It makes it more real to me somehow.

In the previous post on September 23, 2023, I showed photographs of the piece and gave more information. You can also see that it all began as white silks. See the post HERE


I got a very nice certificate from the museum.


Here’s the text on the certificate. I think this is equivalent to a blue ribbon!


Designing with Log Cabin Revisited

I showed this beautiful shawl in a post a while back and recently got a comment about how it was designed. See that post from January 18, 2022. HERE


Here is a lovely photo of a fabric which might be more inspiring than a draft. This color and weave structure is called “log cabin”.


This illustration shows how the color changes are accomplished by changing the color order. Notice the two black warps and wefts are together at the boundaries of the squares.

Dorothy Burnham described the weave  in her book, Warp & Weft A Dictionary of Textile Terms : “A simple colour and weave effect is formed when warp ends and weft picks in a plain balanced tabby are alternately dark and light in colour for a certain number of threads and then reverse their order. This intriguing pattern, popularly known as “Log Cabin”, was frequently used, as in this example, for fine handspun and handwoven woollen shawls.”