Sunday, April 27, 2014

Inkle Weaving

Hello Everyone! 
I'm back from a weekend vacation where I spent quite a bit of time crafting with friends. This day of crafting was a bit different than the average day of crafting for many people, as it was done while wearing medieval garb. Fun!
I had done Tablet or Card Weaving in the past, but this was the first time I had experienced Inkle Weaving. Both can be done on this particular loom. I found it to be much easier than tablet weaving as a basic inkle pattern repeats every other row and therefore is easier to keep track of where you are in the pattern, whereas the Tablet weaving I've done can be a multitude of combinations of which direction to turn cards and how many turns. 

This is the early stages of the project I worked on this weekend. The finished piece is below, but first a bit about what Inkle Weaving is and the stages I took to do it. 

"This type of weaving has been around for centuries. In early times, these narrow strips were used as belts, headbands, bag handles, or straps to tie and support things. When sewn together, the strips could be turned into bags for gathering and carrying. These strips were also used aesthetically to decorate clothing. An inkle-woven strip has even survived from the first century AD. The actual origin of the style of weaving referred to as "inkle weaving" seems to have originated in many areas of the world, wherever textile arts have developed. For many centuries, this type of weaving was done on looms such as the bow loom, the forked-branch loom, or the back-strap loom.
For those familiar with Tablet (or Card) Weaving, inkle weaving is similar to producing a tablet-woven band using just two holes in opposite corners of the card and rotating in such a manner: one-half-turn forward, one-half-turn backward, repeat."

Pulled from http://www.degarmo.net/inkle/notes/history.html where you can find much more information about Inkle Weaving and define the words being used.

This is the grid I used to plan my design. I used a pen and colored pencil. The black tick-marks on each one is what I did to keep track as I warped each string.


The first thing I had to do was make the heddle (the white strings). I placed a heddle on every other string that I warped.

The picture above shows that all the warped strings flow in a pattern with black at the borders and a little toward the center. Every time I had a changed of color I would have to tie the previous and new color together. For this particular pattern there was a lot of tying.


To make the design I fed a shuttle though the thread and changed the position of strings before each pass.


At a point where I ran out of room, the finished part is pulled and fed underneath and exposes a new area to work on. Eventually this process will move the first piece that was finished on top and you are done when you've reached it.



I ended up with 8 feet of strap that I can use to make anything from belts and purse straps to blankets and rugs if I choose to make more and attach/sew them together.


I love the details in this particular pattern. Definitely worth the time of designing it on a piece of paper first.


Happy Crafting!


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