I’ve been given the official go-ahead to write a series of articles for Handwoven, on designing fabric.Â The first set will be about the basics, later I hope to delve into more advanced stuff like designing your own drafts.Â But one step at a time!Â My hope is that this will help beginning-to-intermediate handweavers shift from following recipes to designing their own work.
So I have spent considerable time brainstorming and organizing article ideas, then coming up with a list of samples I will need to weave for each article.Â From there I’ve gone to analyzing what warps I will need to put on the loom and what yarns I will need to purchase, and writing a more comprehensive outline of each article.
I’ve also been doing more prosaic things, like threading up the loom.Â I’m now about 3/4 of the way through – 18 of 24 inches completed.Â I’ve been moving at a fairly good clip – 11 seconds per heddle, which means 11 minutes per 60-thread section.Â So, I have about an hour of threading left.Â At this rate, I’m pretty confident I’ll be weaving by the weekend.
Finally, I’ve been preparing screen printing frames for printing.Â I’ve been sealing the frames with multiple coats of polyurethane, which will be followed by stretching out the mesh across the frame, followed by sealing with duct tape.Â After that’s complete (which will take a few more days at least), I can apply the photo emulsion film, start running exposure tests, and make the screens.
Nothing glorious, but you have to lay down the groundwork before you can build castles!