Saturday, April 24, 2010

Must be there is something about weights and loom and me.

I am now exploring the ancient warp-weighted loom and trying to come up to speed on current explorations. The WWL is/will be a means to an end. My ultimate goal is to reproduce "a garment with no seams" in linen, on the WWL,(as prescribed in ancient scripture, according to, Nahum Ben-Yehuda, CTexATI, of Bar Ilan University in Israel) in waffle-weave. Last year I became captivated by a question from the Rabbi, and, after getting Erica deRuiter involved, ended up weaving 3-shaft waffle weave on an improvised warp-weighted loom, in 6-ply linen. [Handwoven plans to run a related story in the M/J issue- waffle weave on a rigid heddle loom.] I now have an additional challenge from the Rabbi to reproduce a 'seamless robe with reticulations'. [the waffle weave seems to satisfy that requirement, though I know from the research I have already done, that just about any structure can probably be woven on the WWL]. I appreciate the simplicity and sophistication of the WWL and look forward to assembling and practicing on one.

In my copy of H. Ling Roth's "Studies in Primitive Looms", page 122, there is an illustration from "Johannes Braunius Vestibus Sacerdotum Hebraeorum 1680" showing a woman at an elaborate WWL on which she seems to be weaving a garment without seams. The weft of the upper body extends to both sides around the loom sides, these weft extension to later become the warp for the sleeves. The text reports that "the loom is one designed for making a seamless garment." There is also comment that this loom may be an illustration of the transition from a weighted warp loom to a beamed warp loom. Roth's 1918 book is available via PDF, but here is the illustration I referr to.

If any of you can lead me to one who may already have done something like a seamless garment, especially on a wwl, I would be grateful, and again, generous with credits. Treadle with Joy, Kati


  1. Thanks for posting that image on your blog! Heddle bars attached to pulleys and treadles on a WWL -- so interesting.

    I guess my next question is what the best way might be to mount the body when weaving the sleeves ...

    -- Constance

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