Posts tagged Plain Weave
Outlining Angular shapes with Soumak + FREE Pattern Download

My first book, LINE SHAPE TEXTURE, is very much a technical guide in which I introduce you to the key skills and methods of frame-loom weaving.

Having provided a comprehensive framework, I feel that we can now begin to explore how these various elements come together to create unique woven pieces.

This week we’ll be taking a look at a simple wall-hanging project that uses angular shapes and soumak outlining to create an elegant geometric design.

I've drawn on the Weaver's Methodology to show you the framework I used to develop this project.

You'll find a FREE pattern download at the end of the post so you can recreate this piece for your self!

Intersecting Diamonds - Loom & Spindle

DESIGN

This piece incorporates a geometric design of intersecting diamonds. Outlining with soumak produces a slightly raised surface delivering a subtle relief of the angular shapes.

Intersecting Diamonds - Loom & Spindle

SKILLS

  • Plain weave

  • Forming angular shapes using the diagonal slit method

  • Single (2:1) soumak

PLANNING

The design was roughly sketched on paper and the proportions translated to the weaving area of my loom.

SAMPLING

A small piece was woven to test the concept and proportions of the design.

Angular shapes and sumac outlining - Loom & Spindle

MATERIALS

The final piece was woven in an off-white acrylic novelty yarn with gold flecks. It was chosen for its calming neutral tone, the gold flecks adding some warmth and interest to the piece.

CONSTRUCTION

APPLICATION

Simple angular shapes were woven and then outlined using a variation of Oriental soumak.

The soumak variation I used is commonly known as single (2:1) soumak. The ‘2’ in (2:1) refers to the number of warp threads the weft travels over before returning and encircling, in this case,  ‘1’ warp thread.

Single 2-1 Soumak - Loom & Spindle

On completion of each shape, the Soumak stitches were applied to the decreasing slope of the shape (see pattern download).  

Two strands of weft were used for the soumak stitches as this produced a slightly bulkier stitch, allowing the soumak to rise above the plain weave surface. 

FINISHING

Simple steam blocking was used to set the fibres and straighten the edges (see page 53, LINE SHAPE TEXTURE)

Intersecting Diamonds - Loom & Spindle

INSIGHTS

  • The success of this design really relied on working the decreasing shapes first. I needed to ensure I always had a base on which to apply the soumak outlining.

  • Sketching my design was really useful in working out the order the shapes had to be woven.

  • Knowing the weaving order then helped ensure I was mirroring the design on each side and that the proportions were even as the piece progressed.



To find out more about the skills and techniques used in this project and to learn how to make your own soumak variations check out LINE SHAPE TEXTURE. It’s in store now!

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HOW TO CONSTRUCT A WOVEN PIECE

In my up coming eBook I deconstruct the methods of frame-loom weaving and explore the foundation skills that make up a woven piece.

In my last post I shared an excerpt from the book showing the anatomy of a woven wall hanging.

This week I break down the woven structure even further and present a straightforward recipe for constructing a simple woven piece.

It is a unique method in that the design will be woven upside down and only turned the right way up at the end to add the finishing touches.

It is particularly suited to woven wall art as it results in evenly spaced loops at one end to hang the piece. Though, the method can easily be manipulated to accommodate other projects such as home furnishings or personal accessories.


This tutorial is an excerpt from LINE SHAPE TEXTURE - A Creative's Guide to Frame-Loom Weaving. Download a free sample of our book to read the full excerpt!



Anatomy Of A Wall Hanging

Here's another little taster from our up coming eBook on frame-loom weaving!

Weaving on Your Frame Loom – And The Most Common Problem And How To Fix It

In this post I’ll explore some basic weaving techniques that will help get your first weaving project started. I also have some tips on how to prevent one of the most common problems that all new weavers will experience.

Getting Started With Plain Weave

Plain weave, also referred to as tabby weave or tabbing, is one of the oldest and most basic weaving techniques. You'll find that it forms the basis of most projects and through incorporating colour and texture the design possibilities of plain weave are endless. Here are a few examples of wall hangings that use plain weave as their foundation.

Woven Wall Hangings

Plain weave is formed by passing a thread, referred to as the weft, horizontally over and under alternating warp threads. As you repeat this pattern over every row a strong woven fabric is formed.

Weaving close-up

There are several methods for conveniently carrying your weft yarn across the warp. The simplest method is to tie your yarn into a butterfly bobbin (shown below) and lift warp threads by hand as you pass the bobbin across the fabric. A large blunt tapestry needle is also useful when working on small or detailed areas as it allows you to quickly pass the needle over and under warp threads. More specialised tools include tapestry bobbins, shuttles and weaving sticks. I'll cover weaving tools in more detail in a future post.

Butterfly Bobbin

Getting the Weft Right

As you begin weaving you might find that the selvage, or edge of the fabric, has a tendency to draw in and tighten. It’s a common problem that many weavers experience and is generally caused by the weft thread being pulled to tightly across the warp. The problem is easily remedied with a few simple techniques and a bit of practice.

The photos below illustrate different techniques for passing the weft across the fabric:

Slanting

Slanting the Weft

Arching

Arching the Weft

Bubbling

Bubbling the Weft

Once you’ve made your slant, arch or bubble proceed by carefully beating the weft into place with your fingers or a weaving comb.

Weaving - Loom and Spindle

With a bit of practice and a little bit of patience you’ll have straight salvages in no time. If your slanting, arching or bubbling results in to much ease and the salvage loops are a bit bubbly you can carefully pull the threads back in place from behind the work.