Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Designing in the Raddle

Perhaps there are hundreds, even thousands of weavers out there who design their cloth directly in the raddle, the first step in warping the loom from back to front. I have never met anyone who approaches textile design in this manner, and I don't know exactly how I came upon this method. In this particular piece, I wound the warp in 26 narrow chains (without knowing in what order I would be lining up the chains). Winding the warp onto the warp beam becomes a thrilling process--like opening a present.
Wow! It's going to look really Guatemalan. I had no idea.

The above picture shows one of my little weaving quirks--dropping the warp to the ground. By putting the warp through a raddle first, I can fan out the warp to get a preview. If I don't like the color placement or if I want to add a section or two, it is not very difficult to make those changes--nothing to unwind and nothing to unthread


Unknown said...

I like this idea, especially dropping it to the floor and getting a nice preview. So how do you tension this as it's going on?

Charleen said...

I've tried designing in the raddle but I was stretching threads from one end to the other. I like your idea of using narrow chains of various widths. I'll have to try it - I'm sure it would go much smoother. Good idea about dropping the warp too.