Jan is the right brain, I’m the left brain. She’s always been artsy. Drawing, painting, bead work. She nails color. Oozes design. What can I say. I’m an accountant. I respect her talent. I’m the one who makes costed bills of material and calculates gross margin. So, how could I be a weaver?Looms are little precision instruments. You can love them because they weave great globs of color into beautiful objects or you can love them because they do the job you anticipate when all the preparation is proper. There you have it. The right brain and the left brain. A couple of sisters who decided to move into a house with a studio in order to run a weaving business.
In the beginning Jan was weaving rugs. She used four harness looms so she could weave pattern and texture. When I joined we made the business full time and expanded with handwoven clothing. Our niche was cotton and practical comfort. Enough style to wear in public. We never hit on loom shaped garments we liked, so we actually cut up our handwoven fabric and sewed it into clothing. A couple of jacket styles, several shirt styles, dresses. Lots of color.Going from local festivals to regional shows was a big leap for us. We had to have professional slides and be accepted by juries. We even had a New York model. No kidding. I didn’t keep any slides when we quit; all the pictures I have are from our old web site.
Here’s a rug.
Here’s a cotton shirt. In natural cotton, no color. Sorry. On our New York model. We defined our shirts by how many buttons they had. This is a two button. I sewed about a million button holes in our career. This shirt has a great story. I was at a show in North Carolina. A customer I recognized from New York walked into my booth, dropped about a hundred packages on the floor, whipped out her phone and called her husband.“Honey, that shirt your brother took and won’t give back? I’m in her booth! Yes, I found her at the North Carolina house!” She outfitted her husband and several brothers with enough two button shirts to end squabbles for at least a decade.
We still get phone calls from people wanting a shirt or jacket “just like my friend has.” We tell them to put their name on it so they can get it when their friend goes. We did retire from weaving ten years ago. No looms. No thread. No industrial sewing machines. No more buttons.One day the right brain quit weaving and began quilting. No kidding. Right brains are allowed to do that. Weaving had a twenty year run and I needed a new hip, anyway. We’re still using thirty year old handwoven dishtowels, and my bathroom door curtains are in great shape.
If you’re a weaver, these are 20/2 Lilly cotton, in a balanced twill/plain weave threading.