14 January 2010

A&S 50: Material Culture two: Tabletwoven belt, blue and blue

Julia May, aka Samia al-Kaslaania
January 2009

This is a tablet woven belt in two colors of Harrisville wool yarn. It took about 12 hours to warp and weave the belt. From woven edge to woven edge it is 82 inches long (much longer than expected). I used continuous warp, switching off two balls of dark blue for two of light blue to change from borders to body. The cards were threaded with colors side-by-side, rather than opposing, making it suitable for either broad diagonals (Egyptian diagonals in my case) or double faced weaving. Diagonals create a characteristic jigity pattern on the back. I simply made random choices about which design followed the next. I safely avoided the trap of "something creative" at the end when I was bored with it (let me show you my fisheye-heart on the old belt sometime).

In the close up you can see the error that I was not inclined to back out. It's right above the C on the card included for scale. I'm particularly proud of the fish tail ending I did, complete with fish-shaped ending to the weaving. I'll be cording the loose fringe on it.

While tablet weaving usually shrinks from the twist by about 30% in my experience (100 inches of warp will yield 70 inches of weaving), this project did not do that. The wool appears to have stretched while it was on the loom. I'm debating washing it in a laundry bag to see if it shrinks, but I don't want to lose width. Otherwise I'll cut off more of the starting end to make it a proper length.

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