In weaving, there are certain techniques that I sometimes tell myself I’ll never understand how to weave. Weaving with supplemental warps was one of those techniques, until I learned it can be done without a second back beam, using the technique tested and perfected by Deb Essen in her new eBook Easy Weaving with Supplemental Warps. While I think terry-cloth towels might still be a ways off for me, I’m now confident that I’ll get there one day. Here’s Deb Essen herself to explain how she became interested in supplemental warps, and what you can expect in her new eBook on how to weave supplemental warps without a second back beam! ~Andrea
The idea for my new eBook, Easy Weaving with Supplemental Warps, originated after working on my HGA Certificate of Excellence (COE) Level 1, from 2002 through 2004. One of the requirements was for a supplemental warp sample, and I needed information. My search found scattered articles in magazines, short mentions in books, and a little on the Internet (it was 2003 after all), all of which required a second back beam—something my looms didn’t have.
“Well,” I thought, “weavers have woven supplemental warp textiles without a second back beam for centuries. I could do it too!” Boy, did I make some big mistakes and learn a lot the hard way! But supplemental warps fascinated me, and I continued exploring weave structures, experimenting with setting up the loom, and learning so much. I also kept muttering, “Boy, it’d be nice if someone would write a book.”
After several years, a little voice in my head said, “Why don’t you write it?” I proposed a book to Interweave, where I would teach weavers how to weave supplemental warps without a second back beam. And they said, “YES!” Holy cow, I was excited! Then terrified. “This is a huge commitment! What are you thinking?” whispered another little voice.
I slapped the “Doubting Demon” off my shoulder and moved forward. I thought, “What do I like in a weaving book?” First, projects that I can weave and learn from. Second, tips, tricks, and techniques to make my weaving life easier. Third, enough information that I can explore further on my own but don’t get bogged down in too many overly technical details. Fourth, a flow that lets me skip around.
My conclusions: Write an introduction to supplemental warps covering a variety of supplemental warp weave structures. Include all of the tips and techniques I’ve created for warping without a second back beam. Provide enough technical information to enable further exploration: how to turn weaving drafts, how to calculate warp lengths more accurately, and overviews for each supplemental-warp weave structure. Include a variety of weaving projects, with an emphasis on 4-shaft drafts. Ultimately, I included three turned-draft projects (two in 4-shaft monk’s belt and one in 6-shaft overshot), Bedford cord, piqué, velvet, terry-cloth, and woven shibori.
I invite you to have fun and explore supplemental warps with me.
P.S. I still don’t have a loom with a second back beam.
Deb Essen is the author of Easy Weaving with Supplemental Warps and instructor in Interweave videos Weaving with Supplemental Warp and Pile Weaves with Supplemental Warps. In addition to running her handwovens business, Deb teaches at National and International conferences and guilds.