Thursday, February 13, 2020

Another day

With gritted teeth, I finished Siberia this morning. The man is besotted with Siberia, I said to myself. I riffed through the last fifty or so pages of notes, and closed down the back cover, only to read one of those obligatory blurbs. I'm not about to go get the book to quote, suffice it to say the blurb said Frazier is besotted with Russia. Not necessarily a bad thing.

I had a decent day. First I removed half a dozen inches of wet snow from my deck and steps.



Then I started in on my car. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow I hope not to cancel. It will be 13F overnight and a high of 17F tomorrow, and if the snow continues, as much tomorrow to clear away. Not to worry, it will be in the forties over the weekend.



All this because I had to take out the trash and start in on the car. Apparently Joseph is at work today. As he should be. Then I went to work myself.


The blue is far enough around the beam to separate it from the rose.


I cut it off at the "idle weave" space between, pinned the blue back onto the apron, wound it onto the take up beam, and there it will sit until I get back to it.


I weave with unmercerized cotton. That basically says the thread is cotton that is not preshrunk. Here is the rose, just off the loom.


If you count all the squares, it is 21" wide and 11 pattern repeats are 5". The fabric web was 22" on the loom, but off tension, the web loses an inch of width, and some length, too, but I've never measured that.

I have stabilized the ends of the web on my serger, and off to the washer and dryer.



The process is called "fulling". The web must be subjected to water, pressure and a fulling agent (soap). In the very old days, this happened in a trough, with people walking up and down. Now that job happens, for a hand weaver, in the washer and dryer.


This is the finished length of fabric that I'll make into towels. Now it is 18" wide and there are 14 repeats in 5".  The take up (shrinkage) is 15%. 

All the threads are thickly settled in and ready to do what cotton does well, soak up water. It only remains for me to cut the three hundred odd inches into towel lengths, and hem both ends.



37 comments:

  1. It's a lot of work which makes me appreciate my towels even more now. It's one of those things usually never thought about when purchasing towels or other woven items during the lifetime of a household.

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  2. Echoing River. And continuing to thank you for the education as well as the blissful and beautiful towels.

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  3. River is so right! I was thinking the same thing.

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  4. We all had careers, in the day. I'm fortunate I still have and can use mine.

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  5. Lots of work to make those beautiful towels of yours!! Brrr with your temperatures! I'm so clinging to the forecast of 74 degrees here come Monday!

    betty

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  6. Hari OM
    I think it is a true labour of love: I can feel it in the towels as I fondle them - yes, I do - in the work I give them! YAM xx

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  7. Thank you for sharing the process that goes into making these towels. It sure is a lot of work, but then you are both a professional and an artist and it shows in your beautiful towels!

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  8. I'm so enjoying reading about your weaving. How do you pin the threads (those that are left after you cut off one colour) onto the apron? Or do you pin the actual fabric to it? (I'm assuming the apron is that cylindrical thing the weaving feeds onto, and that it's covered with fabric in which pins can be inserted.) Those two new colours are both so beautiful. It IS a lot of work, not just the weaving, but the processing afterward. I love my towels, too :)

    I hope you make it to your appointment without any problems tomorrow.

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    1. At the end of the towel I'm weaving, I weave a couple inches in another thread (idle weave). In this case it is some white I have on hand. Then I weave enough of the new towel to get that towel around the cloth beam (take up), and cut the idle weave. I keep five pins in a little "junk" vase. You can see them in one of the pictures. To maintain even tension without relying on the pins to provide tension, I must weave enough new towel to go around the cloth beam and under the metal rod. I'll look around for pictures of the first half of weaving, putting on the warp and threading the heddles.

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    2. Ah, that helped. I understand the photos better now - thanks!

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    3. The fifth picture was the one that made me understand :)

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    4. Yes, now the raw edge is held not only by pins, but by the pressure of the metal tie on rod that goes through the apron.

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  9. Wow, you got quite a dump of snow there! The weaving process is fascinating.

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  10. I’m so impressed with your weaving. That is gorgeous!

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  11. Joanne, would you mind if I copied and printed your photographs to take along to the village hall next month? I think the group would be very interesting in seeing how much work goes into your towels.

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  12. Lovely to hear of your weaving Joanne - not so your sn

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  13. sorry - it popped over to your blog before I had a chance to put the 'ow' on the end of that last word!

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  14. So glad you have finally finished that ‘fun’ book. Give yourself a break and move on to something lighter. So much work involved to make your super soft towels, I just love mine, thank you.

    LX

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  15. Beautiful fabric, it is nice to see how it's processed, a lot of work there.

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  16. The art college I went to was famous for two things: pottery and weaving. The sculpture department was the other side of the square from weaving, but we had little to do with them. They seemed as incongruous to us as we must have been to them. They had huge, industrial machines as well as the little looms like yours.

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    1. Mechanization notwithstanding, looms work the same as they always did. But now the operator has so much more to know, including hydraulic mechanics, power, compressors and I have no idea what more. And Penelope still would be able to "unweave" a day's work in a night.

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  17. Gee I think you should go back to the water and trough, and walk up and down, have people take pictures! i will look forward to it! I shovelled my sidewalk and driveway yesterday. It has turned cold here - minus 22C here right now.

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  18. Your winter is back- at least for a little while. Goodness!
    I am enjoying learning how you go from thread to beautiful towel. The rose and the denim might be my two favorites.

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  19. Thank you for sharing the process with us. It is a huge amount of work. I so love my precious towels!

    XO
    WWW

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  20. Fulling in a washing machine is convenient...but just think of the community and working together of the folk in Scotland and the waulking songs as they say round the kitchen table and worked the cloth.
    Lovely to see the processes of your work.
    Keep well and stay warm! x

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    1. Gwynneth, I've read everything I could lay my hands on. Cotton is so easy, but it would have been unavailable in Scotland. I've woven wool, just to know about the process. It was fulled in the washer, too, but oh, how tedious. Stopping the machine every five or ten minutes to check progress. Waulking around the table would have been far preferable!

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  21. 13˚ to 17˚? I'd be canceling any and all appointments. I don't believe I'd even get out of bed. the rose and the denim are both gorgeous colors.

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  22. I enjoyed seeing more of the process especially since we enjoy our towels a lot. Hope the doctor's visit went well and you get to enjoy some of that warmer weather.

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  23. It's good that some people are besotted with things, it makes life more interesting for the rest of us. Or at least until the umpteenth "fascinating detail" starts to get tedious.

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  24. Utterly amazing! I am totally fascinated by your weaving process and will have to contact my friend here in town who weaves. She's promised to teach me!! I've got to sell off a bunch of my fabric so I can purchase a small hand-held loom and the thread to weave on it. Jazzed at the thought of learning a new skill!

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  25. P.s. I shall really enjoy my towel now that I know how it was made. My niece will be arriving shortly and I'll show her this post. In awe of your skill and the colors of the thread you've chosen....

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  26. The middle photos did't come up :(

    Your skill in weaving always amazes me. Your talent shows through.

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  27. As you might recall, I know very little about weaving. I sorta recall hearing of fulling but never heard of waulking. I searched and found out but those answers are just text on web page. I don't think you really know some activity until you actually do it.
    Oh at least the author wasn't besotted with Putin. Would you say you are besotted with weaving? Now I wondering if I should start using the word besotted more.

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  28. It remains below freezing here. IT has been so cold that the battery in our fancy schmancy doorbell lost all of its charge.

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