Fan Reeds Fascinate Me

Regular Fan Reed (click to enlarge)

I’ve always been fascinated by illustrations of fan reeds in books.  In Japan, I purchased an obi woven with one. I also saw another style which I am calling a “special”  fan reed.

"Special" Fan Reed

The reed must raise and lower to accomplish the variety of spacing. Overhead beaters are ideal. I’m still trying to figure out a way to use one with my underslung beater. At any rate, I do love the wavy lines in the

Obi Woven with Fan Reed

obi that are caused by the reed. Only a portion of the obi is woven this way; most of it is woven with the wefts going straight across from selvedge to selvedge. Maybe someday I’ll get to my photos from the Japan trip and show cloth woven with the “special” fan reed.

9 thoughts on “Fan Reeds Fascinate Me

  1. This is gorgeous; I’ve never seen or heard of a fan reed before. Can you elaborate on how the obi combines the two techniques?

    • Dear Lauri,
      I’m making a post about the fan reed to answer your question. Watch for it in a day or two.
      I love that we are in touch after so many years.

      • Me too, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. I was actually *finishing* my dissertation; all done but the defense! “I can’t believe it after all this time. You are in it, by the way: I wrote an appendix on weaving techniques (!) and quoted your book, w/full credit of course, so you are in my bibliography as well. Fingers crossed that this will ultimately be a book!

        • Congratulations, Lauri–I am thrilled to be a tiny part. What is your topic? I’ve forgotten. I am really proud of you keeping at this for so long. Keep me posted at all times.

  2. I’d say you are more than a tiny part. If you hadn’t helped to get me hooked on weaving (along with Albertje Koopman), and taught me the basics so well, I might never have gone in this direction at all. The topic is the birth of fashion in the Middle Ages. A lot of it is theoretical, having to do with how to define fashion and so on, but a lot of it is based on weaving technology, since I believe that one of the contributing factors was the advent of the horizontal pedal loom, which supplanted the warp-weighted loom and helped to kick off a commercial revolution. And I’m about to leave for London for the weekend (!) to go to a conference on medieval weaving techniques at the Museum of London–it’s great to be a free woman! I’ll report when I return.

    • Your topic is thrilling to me–I can’t wait to hear more about it. And now to be going to special conferences and meeting people and really talking down and dirty about things–hooray for you!
      PS I know I’ll have to ask you what the topic is again–I’m thrilled that the loom is such a major factor.

  3. Pingback: Random thoughts - Sherri Woodard Coffey

  4. Pingback: Random thoughts - Sherri Woodard Coffey

    • I see in my new Handwoven Magazine and ad for fan reeds from Woolgatherers. 920-907-0510. If I remember correctly you need a loom with an overhead beater. There is video and handout that gives information about the reeds, how to mount them, and their use.

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