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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 askeleton 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Introduction: I began this project maybe 1 ½ years ago. Had the inspiration, almost finished it. Then it got buried on my worktable. I had just gotten my 12-shaft dobby from my dear friend, Jan Langdon, before she died of ALS. I wanted to use all the shafts to make a 12-shaft satin. Then I wanted to gradually in steps go from weft face satin to warp face. That would be 1/11 (1shaft up and 11 down=warp face on one side and weft face on the other) to 2/10, to 3/9, to 4/8, etc. ending with 11/1 (11 shafts up and 1 down). It was interesting but didn’t turn out to be attractive. I’d been playing with dyed silks, cutting squares and playing with how the light affected them whether they were oriented with the warp direction up or turned 90 degrees. So I decided to cut up my fabric into squares and see what I could do.
Depending on how you look at this, the border is darker or lighter. I put the warp faced squares on the border with the warp going horizontally. All the middle squares were oriented with warp wise going vertically.
Here the same piece when I walked to the other side of it to take the picture.
These were on white warp working sequentially from weft face to warp face. I started with canvases I bought at an art supply store. They are 16” x 20”. I covered them with a gray linen that I had. I do love the surface of a nice linen.
I couldn’t bear to throw out the scraps! For a long time I’ve toyed with the idea of making a mosaic out of small pieces.
Now my dilemma: what shall I do with the leftover squares?
Before cutting anything, I ironed this double stick adhesive on the back. Then I cut the strips using a rotary cutter, and finally cut the strips into squares. To adhere them to the backing, you pull off the paper backing to expose the adhesive and iron the pieces down.
Introduction: I thought I would tell a bit about each of my books and maybe some of the back story about how I came to write them. If you like, just skip to my website: www.peggyosterkamp.com for details of the Holiday Sale. Buy One book and Get One Free!
My annual Holiday Sale begins today on Black Friday. “Buy one, get one free with your order”. You can request a free book with every item you buy. The website: WWW.PeggyOsterkamp.com has all the details.
Book #1:Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle was first published in 1992 and was revised and enlarged in 1998 and reprinted for the Third Edition in 2005. While we were still living in Greenwich Village in New York Carol Hillestad, one of my students was an aspiring writer and offered to write a book for me. I gave her the information and she did the writing (not just editing but really writing). She had an office high up in one of the twin towers which made it a thrill to go there. We also passed manuscripts over the turnstiles in the subway. We moved to California and a fellow weaver in the local guild offered to design the book. Since we had to pay for each illustration, Carol and I decided that we’d only have an illustration when words couldn’t wouldn’t suffice. After the first edition, another weaver scolded me and said “Weavers are VISUAL people [she shouted] and we want more illustrations”. That was good advice, and I found a fine illustrator after 2 people didn’t work out. I really wanted a big book like Peter Collingwood’s bible but I knew it would never get done that way so decided to only do the winding the warp part of setting up the loom for the first book. I added the paddle part because I thought everyone would be hot for that. (It wasn’t the case). The sett charts in the back I use a lot: there are several pages of them for different yarns and again for twill as well as plain weave.
This book guides you through every step of planning a project and measuring the warp threads. I see that I got a testimonial from Peter Collingwood: “It is wonderful that these books put today’s weavers in touch with well-tried European methods and so keep alive a tradition of real textile craftsmanship.” (WOW!)
Book #2: Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps came out in1995 and the second and third editions, in 1997 and 2002. Now it’s out of print but available as a pdf. The reason for writing the books is that the information Jim Ahrens taught us at Pacific Basin School of Textile Arts was revolutionary. That is, American handweavers were not using this information that production weavers in Europe and around the world were using. In his class, Production Weaving, he taught us those techniques and I felt the information must be passed along to future weavers. I apprenticed with him for a year and I kept a folder with all the things he taught us that year. We called it the “Chairman Jim File.”
This book guides you through every step of beaming your warp and threading the loom. Plus, comprehensive chapters: Adjusting Looms, Tying On New Warps, Sectional Beaming, Knots, and more.
Again, I was afraid I wouldn’t get more books written so I put a lot more in it that the title indicates—just in case. On the title page, I wrote: “A guide that makes weaving fun with new techniques from European handweavers and the textile industry.
Book #3: Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth, came out in its third printing in 2005. I’m not sure when the first edition was printed. Finally, I got to the weaving and drafting part of the process. In all three of these books I put in everything I knew and what Jim taught us. I call them tomes because I wrote why about everything and much more than many weavers need to know.
This book guides you through every step from weaving motions, shuttles and selvedges to finishing your cloth. When problems come your way there’s an extensive chapter on trouble shooting. The drafting chapter explains how to create your own designs as well as to use drafts in books and magazines. I wanted it to be for those weavers who think that they will never understand drafting. Also included: Drafting for Analyzing Fabric and Drafting for Multi-shaft Weaving.
Book #4: Weaving for Beginners. It came out in 2010 with the Second Edition in 2014 and just now, the Third Edition. This time I put in all the steps and left out a lot of the “whys” and had the illustrator make over 600 illustrations. I taught Beginning Weaving at our junior college for 10 or so years and this is what I taught them—all using the same efficient techniques. I hoped that someone could teach themselves with only the book. I also hoped teachers would use it for themselves to plan their classes as well as use it for a text for students. They could demonstrate something for the whole class and say what page it was on. Students could follow along as well as come back and refer to it when they got to that stage.
Jim’s techniques did not cover warping “Front-to-Back” so I asked an expert to write that chapter and I helped edit it so that I could understand it. Front-to-back is like standing on my head for me. Other experts wrote the chapter on computers. And others did chapters on hand-manipulated weaves and a beginning chapter: Rigid Heddle Weaving.
This time Jason Collingwood wrote a testimonial. “Clear, concise and well presented information, her books on warping are a valuable addition to any weavers library and are, as such, thoroughly recommended.” (I was thrilled for this.) Also Syne Mitchel who I greatly admire wrote: “Peggy Osterkamp’s books are wonderfully thorough. They were my go-to references when I was learning to weave.” (I’m remembering when I got up the courage to ask for those testimonials).
The DVD: Warping the Loom Back to Front, (2005) was also demanded by a workshop student I had from West Virginia. I thought it was the hardest thing I’d ever done at the time. The producer said I should not tell “why” about anything. I asked, “Why?”. She said, “People don’t want to know.” It was hard making the script and harder yet to stick to it. They did a great job of editing. I’m pleased with it because it exactly follows the process I describe in my books.
Then I was told that people weren’t going to have DVD players in the future so Bob, my tech dude, helped me get video on demand. People still seem to want DVDs and I’m glad I can offer it “on demand”, too.
Footnote: I took these pictures in my studio this morning. I have to say it took some doing not to show the messes all around! I never know when a project/idea is finished and then I begin something new right on top of the old ones. When I need to find something, sometimes it’s like an archeological dig to get to the bottom layers. I wish I had more on the looms today, but what is, is, right?
He Haiyan uses scraps and keeps her employees busy while not making unique fashions. This shawl is generous in size and still light weight. The cotton warps and wefts are approximately the size of 20/2. Silk rags are narrow with black rags alternating with colorful rags. It looks to me like the rags are about 3/8” wide. It measures 16 ½” x 87” including fringe. I hope it inspires some weavers.
It is so supple and can be bunched up or flat. It wasn’t easy to take the selfies, but this is the best I could do. It’s so long that just hanging around my neck it reaches a bit below my knees. One would think it would be too bulky when wrapped, but it bunches up nicely. It weighs only 8 ½ oz.
Notice how nice the selvedges are. Each rag was individually cut AND folded back at the selvedges. I could barely make out that the rags were folded back about 1 1/2”at each edge! This makes the edges nice and he rags don’t work themselves out. Pains were taken to weave it so beautifully .
Another selfie to show how flexible.
Here’s another close-up of the fabric. Carefully designed and woven and yet so casual and comfortable. And the cotton isn’t slippery, so it stays put on my shoulders.