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Two-Shaft Threading Drafts Ideas

Rather than thread every other thread on shafts 1 and 2 or every 2 threads, you might try this variation of every 3 threads, or any number. Of course, you could do the same or something different in the treadling.


This could be an interesting threading variation. Think of how you could use different colors of threads as well in different areas.


Here’s a variation of the draft above.


Moth alert, Part 3

Introduction:

Last night while working with my dyed silks in our lounge down the hall, a clothes moth happened to fly by. I couldn’t belief it! It had the nerve to fly over my worktable and I dropped my needle and gave it a lethal swat. Then I took its photo: front and back. I was looking for the golden whiskers mentioned in the previous post! I saved it until I got back home and photographed it again with a penny for scale. Now I think it’s time to throw it in the garbage.

A few more responses came in for my last moth report. One person wanted people to know the important fact that moths don’t like light and certainly don’t fly around a light bulb like other moths. That fact reminds me not to let clothes hang in dark closets without wearing them, or shaking them out, or airing in the sun on occasion. Several places on the web say if you want to store things, do in plastic and seal the seams. Moths can eat through a cloth bag.


They like body oils and oils in fleeces. I once (in the 70’s) hung a couple of fleeces in my loom room because I thought it looked neat. When I took them down and looked inside, it was awful. One year I didn’t wash my main sweater in the spring and left it in the drawer. The next fall, it was crawling, too. And a cashmere bathrobe from my mother-in-law languished in the back of the closet when I stopped wearing it and a mess as was on the dress next to it.


One person suggested they put trimmings of cedar in with the wools when they pruned the trees. A word of warning: cedar only kills young larvae, not older ones or eggs! And the effect fades as the scent dies.


One person wrote from the Philippines that they were battling termites.


More Moth Advice

 I got comments with more moth advice and I spent a very few minutes on the web.


If you get moth traps, be sure to get the type for cloth moths, not for food moths. This is a cloth moth. I love the description maybe from Wikipedia. “The adult moth is gold with reddish-golden hairs on the top of its head. A row of golden hairs fringes its wings, which have a span of about ½ inch.” When I’ve  swatted one of those tiny things, I’ve never noticed the golden hairs! They are tiny but “swat-able.”

What the traps do is attract the males and then they get stuck to the sticky surface inside.

Besides freezing, one person wrote that heat in an oven can kill all the cycles of the moth and gave this informative website: https://www.pesticide.org/moths_clothes

Be sure to date the moth traps and replace every six months.


I tried to find a picture of the debris often seen around where moths have been found. It is white sort of silky and web like. That may be why the moths are called webbing clothes moths. This shows the larvae and eggs, too.


Another comment: “I had a ton of clothes moths in the house; they started from the dog hair under the dish cabinet and spread out around the house. I vacuumed all the wool rugs, both sides each week for a year, vacuumed everywhere else (threw out the vacuum cleaner bag after each vacuuming), sealed all the woolens in plastic bags, and double-bagged my fleeces with the thickest plastic bags I could find. It took 2 years of constant work, but I did it. During the summer I still place the indicators in various areas of the house to find early problems. After several moth-free years I got stupid and brought in a fleece with 12″ locks that I didn’t quarantine and got moths again last year. Sigh…”


You can even buy an iPhone case with moths pictured on it.


A Textile Lover’s Fruit Bowl

I noticed my fruit bowl today and thought not many people have balls of yarn mixed with their apples and oranges. The balls of yarn were there waiting to go into my freezer. The reason: To stop moths from multiplying and eating holes in my wool things. To prevent that: do the following: Put the wool item in the freezer for two days. Take it out for two days. Put it back into the freezer for two more days. The time out allows any eggs to hatch and the freezer zaps them with the second incarceration. This is serious advice used by serious textile people. When they bring home something, it goes straight into the freezer.


I noticed a moth flying around when I was at the computer the other day. I ordered moth traps immediately. I set one up near some other wool yarn that I was suspicious of.


I looked tonight and saw I’d caught one. It’s the larvae that do the harm but flying moths make eggs which make larvae and then turn into more moths. Catching the moths stops the cycle.


I have had this moth trap hanging over my closet for a long time and I can see it’s doing its job. What this means is that I haven’t been religious about the freezer treatment. I discovered a couple of wool garments from trips that had a hole or two –or worse—larvae casings! Then they went to the freezer for sure.


Color Drafting

Introduction:

In this post I go through the process of color drafting the 2-shaft weave from the previous post. For those who are new at drafting, there’s a whole chapter on drafting in my book Weaving for Beginners. Note that I begin the threading on the right and work right-to-left.

Be sure to use pencil and have a good eraser. You’ll see that I had to use it. This was my 3rd start on this, it’s easier to start over when you find mistakes.


First draw the lines defining the part of a weave draft. The chapter on drafting in my book Weaving for Beginners explains the parts of a weave draft.


Put in what you can see on the cloth—both the warps and wefts.


Assign threading to those known. I saw the weft floats first, so I assigned them to Shaft #1. Remember, I work a draft from right to left here and in my books.


Assign what colors you know: the wefts are the horizonal lines.


Add the warp colors now, the vertical lines.


Then I looked for what I could find next: verticals for warps on top on either side of yellow weft areas. NOTE: the colors are not always in the same place! Assign them a shaft: see in the tie up that shaft #2 is lifted so all the lifted warps must be on shaft #2.


Now discover what the last warp threads will be. Now I need to look below to the rows below to discover those and I see the first is orange. Again, looking for vertical threads in the cloth.


Fill in the same way for the missing spaces: see that they are all shaft 1’s and watch out to get the colors right. I see below, a warp lifted in the first rows is followed by a weft every time.


We know the weft color from the photo of the cloth so fill in the wefts (horizontals).


We see on the cloth that each warp missing is orange. See that the single warps have 1 orange and one yellow since we know the yellows (wefts) already, so the rest must be orange.


 Now we know all the warps in the threading draft AND we know some of their colors, too. So fill in the colors we know. Then we can fill in the yellow wefts but that’s easy. We still have to determine the colors of some of the warps. Again, look for rows below for the clues needed. The vertical floats are easy to see.


Now put in the treadling 1 & 2.
What’s under the grey floats, check wefts so check the image and you can see shaft 1 should be up from the treadling and see the color from the photo or further down the draft. Notice I tried to erase grey in rows 5 & 7. They should be yellow wefts colored in the treadling draft.


What goes on under all the floats you can check out first in the treadling draft: what shaft is up. Then, fill in the blanks for the wefts (horizontals). Then clean up the draft and you’re done. (I hope I haven’t made any mistakes! Let me know if you find any.)


Two-Shaft (harness) Weaving: Part One

I discovered weavers with many shafts often become interested in weaves for just two shafts. I’ve kept a file, and these fabric samples were on top. The label on the sample card says Konwiser inc. When I looked them up on the web, I found they are on the MoMa website with two furnishing fabrics dated before 1955. I don’t think they are in business now.


There are 6 colorways in the collection: all the same weave.


The third in the stack of samples. So interesting how the different colors make such a difference.


These are 52% cotton and 48% wool upholstery fabrics.


The price on the label is $14.25 and the width, 54”.


The name given to this collection is “Bahia”. My next post will be about drafting these and color drafting. In the meantime, see if you can work out the draft and if we agree.


Bhutan Singles Handspun Yarn Woven UP

This is a scroll I made with the handspun yarn from Bhutan that I unwound from the skeins with a cross. It measures 8” x 27. That makes the warp 8” wide; a width I often do. It was on my small 4-shaft loom.


Here is a close-up of the center pieces I dyed with black walnuts. My original plan was to weave white cloth and dye it. However, I’m really liking the whites I wove and don’t know if I’ll dye any more of them or not.


This piece is very supple with thick and thin wefts in plain weave. It’s surprising how lovely the singles yarn wove up. Singles for warps finish up flatter than plied yarns which makes a nice cloth. Then for the selvedges you use 4 plied yarns. I might use sewing thread or 5/2 pearl cotton or something else like the warp yarn.


Here is a close-up showing the different wefts.


Here, the warp and weft are both the handspun yarn.


The warp is the one I wove the needle cushions on. Here I just used one block for the whole cloth. I hard pressed it then to flatten the floats. That means when it was damp from wet finishing (light hand washing) I ironed it hard.


Here, I used a very fine thread for the weft. I had made a warp of it at 125 epi so you know it is fine. Since I knew it was fragile, I didn’t snug up the wefts at the selvedges and just let them splay out a good bit. The reason for the fine weft was to see how the handspun yarn looked without any weft showing.


A Special Niddy Noddy to Make a Cross in Skeins

This skein from Bhutan has a cross in the middle and in my last post I showed how two swifts were needed  to unwind the yarn.


Here is the niddy noddy I brought back from a weaver in Bhutan.


This one is beautiful. It’s made of a branch of bamboo. I absolutely love it and hang it on my wall and almost swoon when I walk by. (I held up the group a bit while buying this exact one.)


I am trying to show you how long it is by putting it against the door to my apartment.


Here is the path the yarn will take to make the cross in the skein.


Balling Yarn: Part One

Introduction:
I brought back this handspun, overspun, tangled skein from Bhutan. I bought it to show the others in the group what handspun yarn was like. I bought two enormous skeins—one was the most tangled I could find. I balled the yarn for a few nights in my apartment when things were calm and peaceful—before I got on to another creative binge.

I stayed back in my room one afternoon to unwind one skein to show the group. Was I flabbergasted when I couldn’t open the skein from either end, and found A CROSS in the skein!


I can’t say how many wonderfully peaceful hours I’ve spent balling these skeins. In a shop I saw a woman unwinding a skein using two swifts. Then I realized how I could unwind my skeins.


With the cross in the middle it’s been a pleasure. Never a tangle and every thread came off in perfect order.


Making it more interesting is that each yarn is made up of two singles. They weren’t plied, but doubled and sometimes one was longer than the other.  That meant I got to keep two balls going as I unwound the skein. Besides, the yarns were sticky.


Here are the two balls. One yarn was definitely thinner. Part two will show how they made the cross in the skein.


Conversations with Cloth, Episode 4

Wednesday, January 6 is the last episode of this series from Slow Fibers Studios, Conversations with Cloth. Ana Lisa Hedstrom and Yoshiko Wada put on informative and very inspiring ‘Conversations with Cloth.’ They are wonderful and available to anyone in the world by Zoom.

Previous episodes are available to view! Topics have been on Shibori, Nui Shibori, and Clamp Resist. Terrific examples, up close directions, and always a collection of contemporary work.

This week will be on shibori in Africa and stitching on the sewing machine for resist. Also, I think, items from Yoshiko’s collection. Yoshiko has been the tour leader for many of my trips to Japan. I love her and her breadth and depth of knowledge

Upcoming series are in the works with real virtual workshops. Check out Slow fiber Studios for more information. I can tell you they are what you expect from Yoshiko and Ana Lisa.


  • Episode #4: Exporting Shibori to Africa from Arimatsu Narumi, 1948-49, Machine Sewn-resist, and Complex Substrate

Wednesday • January 6 • 2021, 1pm-3pm (pacific coast time)

Yoshiko and Ana Lisa will discuss creative solutions the Japanese artisans came up with to meet demand in the African market for wide width, quick production, and dramatic patterns. Examples of the artisans’ solutions were to use a sewing machine for compression-resist (kikai-sekka shibori), enlarge the scale of traditional techniques, and incorporate printed substrates. Ana Lisa will discuss her own way of using the sewing machine in her art textiles, and images from contemporary artists’ work will be shared.  We hope our analysis of a variety of artists’ and artisans’ technical and design approaches will inspire shibori practitioners to find innovative ways to scale up their production.

From left to right: (1) Kumo & Miura shibori, (2) Tesuji shibori & sewing machine, (3) Printed mock shibori, (4) Miura shibori on printed cloth, (5) Sewing machine resist, (6) Sewing machine resist & Nui and kumo shibori

The Start of 2021

New Year’s Day.
14” x 23”
Background:

Commercial cotton I dyed in indigo.
Center: Silk Velvet I got in Italy from the weavers.
This piece represents my hope for the new year for me. Simple, clear, and calm; but interesting.


The original idea was to turn the nap of the white velvet 90 degrees to make the border show. If one stands at exactly this spot you can see it. The velvet pile is so short there is almost no difference in the direction of the nap.


You can see I didn’t catch that one square was turned the wrong way when I put it together. It only shows up when you stand in that certain place. When I was working on it, I kept trying to get them all lined up correctly.


I bought this small piece of white velvet and loved it because it was so silky-soft, but I could never find a way to use it. I think cutting it into squares helped make it more than just a scrap. I’m glad I didn’t lose it! I chose the blue velvet because it looked contemporary to me. I used every millimeter I had.


Front-on, no pattern can be seen.


Almost New Year’s Eve

A Textile to Celebrate New Years’ Eve.

17” x 54”
This began as what I thought was a “scarf” that Indian women wear over their chest for modesty sake. I planned to wear it as a scarf. However, it was huge, and the silk taffeta was slippery and not crushable. I tried to wear it but was always swallowed up in it; or it was slipping off. I later found out it was a scarf to be worn over an outstretched arm. It would look nice that way, but I wonder how one would do anything but pose with it.


I loved it so decided to make it narrower and shorter by making some wide pleats. I tacked them down with red tailor’s tacks. As it progressed, more and more pleats were made until it came to scroll size. I discovered the back side had these nice ruffles.


Here you can see why I had to have it. Think of all the tying for the ikat to make the border.


The border all the way around was ikat-tied as well as the red parts!


Here’s a side view.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Peggy


Current Scroll Show: Part Two

A Needle Weaves Gauze! 36” x 22” (doubled).
Background:
The background is the main feature. Mentor, Milton Sonday, at the Copper Hewitt Museum in New York needle-wove this gauze piece (it was 22” long) long ago I assume! It’s unbelievable. He told me he had a frame set up somehow.
Center: A silk kimono fragment from Japan. I think this was a piece where they stenciled the design on the warp. First a warp is extremely loosely woven with a weft that zigzags up and across the warp to hold the warp threads in place. Then that “cloth” is taken off and stretched and stenciled. Then that warp is put back on the loom and woven as beautiful silk cloth. The designs were bold and a cheaper way to imitate ikat. The term for silk woven this way is: Mason. We visited the workshop and were blown away. Both Cathy and I ended up getting a piece of the stenciled warp threads, plus at least one gossamer silk scarf.


Fragments Worked into Felt. 37” x 20”
Background:
Commercial linen I dyed.
Center: I marked old cotton kimono ikat fabrics I got in flea markets in Japan with sumi kink. Then these pieces were laid on wool fiber and felted. I love how the cloth shrank into the felt. The cloth is OK to do this if you can feel your breath through it. (That means the cloth is open enough to work– we were told by Jorie Johnson.) I learned these in a workshop at Slow Fiber Studios in Berkeley where I’ve had amazing experiences.


A Fancy Twill Meets Peggy’s Mottled Cloth. 8” x 18”
Background:
I’ve woven this twill many times and I always like it. It was labeled “fancy twill” so I kept the name. It’s 3,2,/1,2. I think. I like the thick and thin ridges.
Center: A cotton fragment from wiping the bowl of kakishibu dye (green persimmon dye). The dye came from Japan. It has to be fermented for some years. I tried it for two years and didn’t get anything. I just liked the way some of the small pieces turned out.


Trying to Get Away with Something. 11” x 32”
Background:
Plain weave cotton shawl from the Philippines. Slash pattern due to random ikat weft threads.
Center: Satin weave silk dip dyed in black walnut dye. Notice where I ran out of silk warp yarn and substituted with another yarn and thought no one would know the difference. It makes me chuckle when I see how the left side did everything different: shorter on top and shorter on the bottom.  I couldn’t resist keeping it anyhow. I think it adds character. At least I don’t think it’s disfiguring. Or as a friend once said, “It doesn’t insult me.”


Closer look of the above.


The Special Time Between Christmas and New Year’s: Part One

Introduction:
I always look forward to treasuring this week between the holidays. I think I’ll do lots of projects and see a friend or two. In light of that, I’ll show work that I just put up in a little show here where I live. The pieces are more scrolls. This time the theme is about putting together a background and art that go together. My worktable is piled still with textiles waiting to find mates; or mates waiting to be attached and hung. I’ve begun a new project already.

Stary Night
15” x 40”
Background: Mottled blue commercial cotton I dyed with indigo.
Center: Sheer commercial cotton dyed with black walnuts. The “stars” came as accidents. Scattered French knots anchor the fabric in place so it can flow in the breeze.


Oshima Ikat Design
20” x 37”
This is the first piece as the viewer begins the walk along the wall of a hallway. Background: Commercial open weave linen from Tokyo.
Center: Silk fragment from Amami Oshima Island, Japan. This is the twice woven ikat we went to see. The ikat resist threads (warps and wefts) are woven on a loom with the threads in bundles ‘tied’ by the binding of warp threads which make a mat—one for each thread in a design. Then that is unwoven, and the threads put into a loom and the silk fabric is woven. It’s amazing—all of the processes as well as the end product.


White Satin
13” x 50”
Background: Part of a silk obi (sash) from Japan.
Center: Silk, 12-shaft satin that I wove just before the pandemic on my dobby loom. Just to see what 11 up and 1 down in a satin weave would look like with a rather fat silk warp with some irregularities.


A closer view of the satin piece.


Christmas Eve

Carolyn’s beautiful stocking reminds me of Christmas Eve at our house as a kid in Ohio. I remember it being quiet and peaceful. The lights would be out except for the Christmas tree lights. We hung ordinary socks and used the same holes in the mantle every year. My dad would always wrap safety pins to put in everyone’s stocking! A couple of years ago I went with my 2 sisters to see the house and the mantle had been stripped of paint, but the holes were still there! Merry Christmas everyone!
Peggy
PS I just remembered the year I stepped on the star when we were decorating the tree! Oh, that was awful, but no damage was done, thank goodness.


Use a Table Loom ~ When no tie up is the best solution

Sometimes there are just too many tie-ups in a multi-shaft project that a table loom is the best solution. (Of course, you can weave a 4-shaft project with the universal tie up in previous posts.)


Weaving this Christmas stocking took 8 shafts and Carolyn Burwell did not want to crawl under her floor loom for all these tie-ups. Using the levers on a table loom for all the sheds was easier by far than making all those tie-ups on a floor loom.


Here is what the back looked like. Weaving wrong-side-up would not be any help.


Red velvet will cover the wrong side beautifully. See the next post for the finished stocking.


What Are Skeleton and Universal Tie-ups?

Introduction:
The tie-ups in the two previous posts are actually examples of skeleton or universal tie-ups. They are repeated here.

This ingenious tie up for 4-shaft countermarch looms is often called a skeleton tie-up. The treadles are tied up so that two or more are used to make the sheds. This is a way to make more sheds without tying up so many treadles, or to create the sheds you need when there are more sheds than you have treadles. Summer and winter tie-ups can require more treadles than you have, so a skeleton tie-up is often used. Check the internet for more information on skeleton tie-ups for countermarch looms as well as jack and counterbalance. Yes, you can make skeleton tie ups on all kinds of looms.

Actually the illustration is a universal tie-up, because all of the 14 possible sheds can be made with only these 8 treadles.
Do you see the difference? The terms are closely related but the universal will do everything. But the skeleton will be a tie-up with fewer treadles than the number of sheds required for a particular draft. Both tie-ups use two or more treadles together to create a shed. If you can’t figure out a skeleton tie-up  yourself, you can look at Tim’s Treadle Reducer online. www.cs.earlham.edu/~timm/treadle/form1.php I tried it and it was great. I put in that I had 8 shafts, 10 treadles, and 12 treadles were required. Then a grid came up and I entered the tie-up in the pattern. And a skeleton tie-up was given using only 10 treadles instead of 12, sometimes using two treadles together.


This tie-up for 4-shaft jack and counterbalance looms is an example of a universal tie-up because with it you can make all the combinations possible using more than one treadle at a time. That means you won’t ever need to make a skeleton tie-up with 4 shafts for these two kinds of looms. That’s because you can make every combination you want using the four treadles, no matter how many different sheds are required.


Attention All Jack and Counterbalence Weavers with Four Shaft Looms!

A Universal tie-up for you. Never tie up your treadles again!

Introduction:
I’ve posted this many times and it continues to be one of the most seen of all my posts. If you already use it, please bear with me. Since I gave the countermarch weavers their tie-up, I thought I should repeat this one yet again for everyone else. In fact, my own 4-shaft looms have only 4 treadles, so this is what I use for everything. And I think it makes me more creative because I can change my mind whenever a new idea comes along.

This tie-up works for jack and counterbalance looms.


I never change my treadles on these four-shaft looms because I only use the tie-up in the photo. The left outside treadle connects to shaft one and the right outside treadle connects to shaft two. The left inside treadle connects to shaft three and the right inside treadle connects to shaft four.

This tie-up allows you to treadle all the possible combinations of four shafts by pressing two treadles at a time. That means you can change from one structure to any other on a whim, and you don’t have to redo the tie-up. Because there are only four treadles, the feet can always find where to go.

A student of mine one enthusiastically said, “I tried your tie-up and added two treadles for tabby!”

I said, “You’ve missed the point. You don’t want those extra treadles; they just make it more complicated for the feet.”

Using two feet at once, this tie-up allows you to “walk” your treadles for almost every weave structure. Try it right now, pretending you’re sitting at a loom with the treadles as shown. Treadle shaft one, now two, now three, now four. You can weave faster because you’re alternating feet. Rememer that shafts one and two are on the outside, which makes them easy to find, so you can get started and find the other treadles easily without looking. (I’ve seen looms built with the same idea, with the arrangement: 3,1,2,4. That works, too.)

To treadle plain weave, put one foot in the crack between the two left treadles to press both treadles at one time with the left foot for one shed. Do the same with the right foot on the right- hand treadles for the other shed. Alternate your feet to weave tabby or plain weave.

Now try treadling a 2/2 twill. One and two together, two and three together, three and four together, four and one together. See how only one foot needs to move at a time? It’s just like dancing!

There is a comprehensive chapter on how the different kinds of looms work and how to adjust them in my book, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps. It is available on my website as a pdf.

This tie-up is also in my book Weaving for Beginners, also available on my website. www.peggyosterkamp.com


ATTENTION ALL COUNTERMARCH WEAVERS WITH FOUR SHAFT LOOMS!

A Universal tie up so you never have to tie up your treadles again!

Use the tie up in the photo and you can tie up the treadles one way that works forever if you have only four shafts and eight treadles. Most four-shaft countermarch looms have only six treadles, but on some looms it’s easy to make two more treadles from pieces of wood to match those already on the loom.

You can make all the sheds possible with four shafts this way by using both feet and using two treadles at a time. Each treadle has only two ties.

Look at the photo. Remember all “o”s represent shafts that are to rise (like bubbles) and all “x”s are for shafts that are to be lowered.

This is an ingenious tie-up because countermarch looms require each shaft to be active to make a shed. The shaft must either rise or sink, and you can’t ask a shaft to move in two directions at once. If you want shafts 1 and 3 up, the treadles to press are the second treadle from the left and the far-right treadle. Do you see that you could not use the two left-hand treadles together because that would be asking shafts 1 and 3 to go both down and up?

Think about what to do to get shafts 2 and 4 up: Use the far-left treadle plus the second treadle from the right. Then shafts 1 and 3 will go down and 2 and 4 up.

There is a comprehensive chapter on how countermarch looms work and how to adjust them in my book, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps. It is available on my website as a pdf. https://peggyosterkamp.com/holiday-specials-for-weavers/


The Biggest Bag of All Bags:

I guess I am addicted to bags. This huge bag is from Japan. The silk farmers carried the cocoons to the co-op in them. I got it at the antique textile shop in Tokyo.


It’s made of paper. I loved the texture.


I noticed some patches that were made.


I think the paper is made of a variety of fibers because of the variety of shades of white.


The back had this seal on it.


This is India, but I used to have a photo of a Japanese man lugging a bag like mine full of cocoons over his shoulder. But this gives a sense of the size and the number of small cocoons it must hold.


Biggest Bags

I bought this in Japan at an artist studio. He had a tiny shop and this shouted out to me. When he said the price, I gasped because it was just a tote bag, right?  But he said it’s a work of my art and I immediately understood. I’m so glad I decided to get it. The size is: 17 ½ “x 11 ½”.


This is the other side of the bag above. The artist explained the concept. In Japan, and X means no. But in the US and X means yes. Also, an O in Japan means yes and in the US an O means no. He taught at a US university in the northwest I think. I’ve hung this on my outside door and enjoy it as an art piece. Because it’s white, I’m afraid to use it. At first I thought it might get stollen, it’s so attractive. Then I realized my hall mates were appreciative of my displays and the staff, too.


This huge plastic bag caught my eye in a fancy hotel’s gift shop we visited in southern India in February. (Boy am I glad we got home before the pandemic on February 4!) It measures 21 ½  x 14 “. The straps are 15” higher than the bag. I love hanging it on my shoulder—and being dramatic! When full it does get heavy. It’ 7” deep! 


This one came from Morocco. The leather is like a baby’s bottom. I saw a fantastically soft red jacket for a reasonable price but decided I’d never wear it so gave it up. That made me vulnerable when this bag showed up. I’ve carried my binoculars to the opera in it when we could do that.


This really doesn’t belong with totes for me, but it was used as one in the countryside in Japan. It is a draw string bag. It was in the window of an antique textile dealer’s shop and pulled me right in. Stuffed like this the diameter is 16”. I was told it would be thrown over one’s shoulder to carry stuff.


This isn’t big, but I just like it and it might give someone an idea. It’s only 8” tall. I have some wicker on the backs of my chairs that is starting to break. Here might be an idea for cutting up some broken wicker and making something.


Look what’s on the cover of the new Handwoven magazine!


BIG BAGS INTERRUPTION!

An Issey Miyake Bag Discovered in My Cupboard!

Introduction:
I watched Yoshiko Wada and Anna Lisa Hedstrom’s seminar, Conversations with Cloth this afternoon. It was the third session. There are more to come and they are wonderful and full of inspiration. And they can be streamed. The topic was Itajime—Clamp resist and there was a discussion about 3 dimensional ideas and Issey Miyake. I sat up and said to myself, “Where is my Issey Miyake bag? It would be perfect as a post in my series on bags!” He has designed clothes that fold down flat and open out in dramatic three dimension. We go there every time we are in Tokyo and before we get there, I think that maybe this time I will buy something. Then I see everything is way too much drama and way too much money and leave empty handed. But I’ve left filled with great pleasure at seeing gorgeous and ingenious art to wear.

The last time they had this small bag, and I am glad I got it. I treasure it but keep it wrapped in its original tissue hidden away in a drawer in my big tansu chest.


Here is the other side.


It is flat but opens out in folds. I wanted to take the photo before opening it out in case I couldn’t get it folded flat again.


Here I began to open it out. It was mentioned that there is a YouTube video about Miyake’s folded things.


Here it is opened out with its handles. They can be long or short, depending if you want to wear it over the shoulder or like Queen Elizabeth.


Another open view. I carried it at a family wedding once.


Here it is flattened again. I made it! I think I’ll keep it out for a while to enjoy it.


Bigger Bags

This post is about larger totes I’ve brought home with an astounding photo at the end of a woven-resist kasuri fabric. This bag came from Japan. It’s made of paper rice bags. A similar technique was use by a friend of mine using grocery bags she tore into various shapes. She covered her kitchen floor with them. It’s really beautiful as well as practical. I have no idea how the paper is treated.


This tote bag was made in the Philippines and is a great size and shape for file folders, etc. The weave is strong, but the bag is padded which is a good idea. Plus, it has a nice lining with a pocket or two on the inside. It really holds its shape no matter what’s inside.


This bag shows a traditional pattern made on the island Amami Oshima between the Islands of Kyushu and Okinawa in Japan. This pattern is found on busses, post boxes, and shopping bags all over the island. However, no one knows about the weaving itself or the technique. The ikat resist is done by weaving. More for the last photo.


The strap is attached on one side of the bag so the top can be folded down to make the bag smaller. I think this is a great idea.


On the other side of the bag the strap is attached further down so the bag can work even smaller. Notice the snap. That holds the folded part down on the inside.


Here is the black side at it’s smallest height with the strap attached at that level.


Here is the patterned side when the bag is folded down to it’s shortest. I would say it’s made of a canvas fabric with the pattern printed on.


Here is a piece of the real woven cloth. Not a traditional pattern, but contemporary. Look at the detail. Every warp and weft thread is tied for the ikat process by being woven into a thick mat. Then the mat is unwoven and put on a loom to weave the pattern. The cloth is known as Oshima in the textile world. Cathy and I went there specially to see it and we spent two days with a guide going to several places to see both the resist mats and the silk cloth being woven. Interesting enough, our guide knew nothing about any of this until he researched it for our visit. We were happy to see how impressed he was. We found two little shops that sold the fabrics in pieces and by the meter so we could bring home good memories. This piece is a part of a scroll that I put together on a cloth from a Kyoto fabric shop.


Big Bags

This is what started it all. I remember seeing this bag in a window in India quite a few years ago. I lusted for it but I knew I didn’t carry that kind of purses. Bought it anyhow and it hangs on a doorknob in my bedroom and I still love it.


This bag came from a specialty shop in a Japanese department store. Who could resist it?? The Japanese have the most beautiful purses and bags for textile lovers. I’d come to the conclusion that I would allow myself to buy tote bags that I like. Those I do use as well as love.


This one I think is from Japan, too. It is really useful.


I got this in China. The only thing in the fashion shop that appealed to me. I’m hoping that maybe some of these treasures will be inspirations to others for projects to make. They are fun and so useful and not too complicated.


Pockets and More Pockets

This is a pocket I bought in SW China. I’ve been practicing using it and it has worked well. The needle holder is on the top. I watched Yoshiko Wada and Ana Lisa Hedstrom’s lecture this afternoon and got inspired to make pockets. I had planned to post them as little purses as good project ideas. Inspiration made them all into pockets for my winter pocktless pants.


This was a little bag I bought in Japan. Can you see the ikat horses? I first got the idea to make a pocket when I noticed it on my work table this afternoon. The long loop is a good length so it hangs well when sitting, too.


This pocket was a bag from India. So simple.


This is a favorite little bag from Uzbekistan. Pieces of their traditional ikat and card weaving. I will enjoy using it as a pocket I know because I’ve always loved it.


I bought this from our White Elephant sale—It’s from Guatemala.


This bag is from Japan—hand spun Tsmugi silk.