Warp Weighted Weaving

13 Oct 2010

Beweave It!

If the whole front-to-back vs. back-to-front question is too stressful for you, there are alternatives.
For millenia, weavers have produced stunning cloth without a thought to reed or shafts. In Scandinavia, that bastion of back-to-front warping, the warp-weighted loom was in use in remote areas well into the twentieth century. Probably adopted from the Coptic weavers of Egypt around 200-300 AD, the warp-weighted loom has a top and bottom, no front or back. The weaver typically wove or braided a heading, wove the wefts into it, lashed the heading to a beam across the top of the frame and painstakingly weighted the warps with big, heavy rocks


Warp-weighted weaving:
not for wimps

 

In fact, warp-weighted weaving is all about heavy lifting: the sheds are made by moving a heddle bar the size of a small log, and each pick is beaten upwards using a large wooden "sword."  On the plus side, those weavers probably had arms that Venus and Serena Williams would envy.


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