Winter Break Apprenticeship

On December 19 of 2018 I started an apprenticeship with master weaver Janet Doyle. I went to her weaving studio 3 to 4 times a week during my holiday break so that I could be introduced to the art of weaving. Jan worked with me every day to teach me how the process worked. She gave me a beginners book to read at home so that I could familiarize myself with the craft. She also gave me a lap loom and a small loom to take home and practice on.

This is the small loom that I practiced different patterns on.

This is the lap loom which came with a paper pattern that I taped to the back of the loom so that I could follow it as I weaved.

When I started working at Carolina Fiber and Fiction, which is the studio where Jan works, she dyed threads and set up this loom for me to practice on. I practiced using different pedals to create patterns and incorporated different threads into the design.

At the studio their is a library of books so after I took off the textile from the first project, I started going through the library to figure out what design I wanted for my second textile. The point of apprenticing Jan was to learn how to weave and to make yards of a fabric that I could then use to make a garment. Therefore I knew for this second project I was going to stick with one pattern and repeat it throughout the textile. Whereas with the first project I was simply playing around with different weaving patterns.

I chose a houndstooth pattern which required two colors. I chose chenille thread.

The first graph on the top indicates the order of the colored warps that go through the heddles. The black and white diagram at the corner indicates the pedal attachments to the shafts. The vertical diagrams represent the order of the weft threads.

First I wound the warp. I chose threads that continued with my outer space, black matter theme from this past semester so I chose a dark blue black thread and a speckled white and black thread. I had to interchangeably wrap each color around the wooden structure 6 times and I had to do that 25 times in total. I had to tie little threads around certain parts of the finished warp so that I knew where to slide them onto the loom.

Then we connected the warp to the back beam and attached the leach sticks.

Next, we attached the four shafts and threaded the heddles.

Then we added and threaded the beater with two threads between each metal section.

Afterwards we tied the threads to the front beam so that everything was taut. We also attached the treadles to the correct peddles based on the patterns from the book.

Then I threaded two shuttles with the two chenille colors from the warp.

I followed the weft pattern from the book.

After 2.5 days of weaving, I finished my textile! We cut the threads right before the beater and tied off the end. Then we unrolled the fabric from the front and slid off the threads from the front metal bar.

I then brought it home and sprayed it with water. Then I wrapped it in plastic and put it in the freezer overnight.

Then I threw it in the dryer and it was ready to be used as fabric.

Later I will apply Fusinit to the fabric so that it’s drape will be preserved and it won’t unravel.

I wanted to make the textile into trousers or apart of a top, however when I got back to school for my spring semester, we started making skirts so I decided to incorporate some of the textile into that.

Leave a reply

Skip to toolbar