Sunday, February 21, 2016


  I have some handtowels that I wove 30 years ago. They are finally disintegrating. They have been washed dozens and dozens of times. I chose a color pattern that came from a Handwoven magazine dedicated to using music to make designs. The pattern in the warp followed "the ringing of the changes" or how church bells are rung. Each warp color was assigned a "bell" and 1" stripes  followed a bell ringing sequence. The towels were then woven with 1" stripes following the same pattern. Even though these towels were not a regular plaid pattern per se they had a curious continuity. The pattern just looks right.
  Now my towels were shot and I had to weave new ones.  I decided to try a weave structure unfamiliar to me, Bumberet. It is very simple structure that can be done on four shafts and consists of units of 3 in the warp. The curious name of the weave is like so many handweave structure names that have long disappeared, like dimnity, serge, goose eye, ottoman and so on. The draft I followed was from a 17th century weaver's notebook. Since I have 16 shafts I spread the draft on twelve shafts and used the last four to run a thin basketweave selvedge. These were done in 8/2s unmercerized cotton with a warp color sequence generated by moi même, totally random.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kundalini Turban Cloth

    I have a good friend who is a Kundalini yoga teacher. Part of doing Kundalini yoga is the belief that wearing a turban or some kind of head covering, preferably white, can improve one's practice. At the Kundalini workshops I've attended both men and women dress in white and most wear a head covering. There are various ways to wrap a turban and some of the more elaborate women's turban styles are many layered beehive-shaped affairs. Some are complimented with a center jewel and a vail.  For my friend I measured her smaller turban to get a general idea of the width and length. I then set up my loom to weave a gauzy doubleweave with a tabby border of various fine cottons (warp) and wove it out with a spun silk weft. The first attempt was "shortened" due to technical problems with the loom. The first length was barely 2 yards long, an insufficient length for a turban. It makes a wonderful warm scarf. The 2nd attempt is now weaving very well on the loom. If I have enough silk for weft I may get 5 yards or more.