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
Obi Woven with 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 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.

Silk Cocoons (white and colored)

Silk cocoons (click to enlarge)

Since I’ve been working with silk threads, people have asked about silk worms and silk cocoons. Here are some cocoons I brought from my studio. You can see one where the silkworm escaped leaving the cocoon so it can’t be unwound because it isn’t intact. The others are whole. The colored cocoons were dyed at a place I visited in Japan. We reeled the silk off of blue and yellow cocoons and the company knitted up the thread

Colored cocoons, green scarf

into the green scarf in the photo. In another post I’ll send pictures of mereeling green silk from blue and yellow cocoons. The gold  silk I previously unwound from a skein onto a Japanese spool is the natural color of the cocoon. A friend sent it to me from Cambodia. One fine strand of silk is made from unreeling many cocoons together at once. These fine threads are what I used in the pieces in the  gallery.

Preparations for a exhibition of my weavings

I’ve been preparing my long silk pieces and other hangings for a show in January. The work was already finished and ready to hang, or so I thought. The silk pieces needed to be significantly shorter for the space so I knew that job would take some time and consideration. Of course, I didn’t want to shorten them by cutting off anything! Most of them I sort of made them 1/2 as long by turning the bottom end to the back and attaching it to the top–sort of like a roller towel. One I rolled up as much as needed and had the roll at the top on the front of the piece. Since the pieces are sheer, it  took tiny stitches here and there and making sure the two layers were smooth against each other. I’ll have pictures of this when they are in the exhibition.

Other pieces needed their fringes combed and invisible hanging loops made. This has been a relaxing pleasure. I love handling them and looking at them up close again. You can see the original pieces in my gallery.