At the loom weaving the final silk cloth. I think more time is spent hunched over an area of the woven cloth to align the tiny dots than throwing the shuttle. This young woman is being trained to weave the Oshima Tsumugi silk. There were 15 or 20 people learning at the Cooperative. [click photos to enlarge]
All the weavers spent time aligning individual warp threads to get the warp and weft threads to line up perfectly together!
At the back of the loom you can see both the plain and patterned warps. The plain warp is wound on the warp beam. The patterned one is attached in bundles and let up as needed.
On the right is the woven cloth. On the left is the warp threads alone before the wefts are put in. Both the warp and weft are patterned and must line up exactly with each other.
Here is a white cloth with black pattern. Notice the black dots on the edge of the cloth. They were woven in the binding mat for help in alignment of the wefts. Black or brown fabrics are more common and they have white dots along one edge for registering. These dots on one edge tell you it is authentic Oshima Tsumugi. NOTE that for a WHITE background fabric like this the threads are dyed solid BLACK and THEN starched. This is so the binding will be where the black areas are wanted in the cloth in the end result. Then the mat will go into a pot with color REMOVER to make it white. The bound areas will resist the remover and remain BLACK!!!