A few days ago I did a post that talked about the beginning steps of weaving. Today I’ll continue that post.
After the warp yarn is on the loom, each individual thread had to be threaded through the eye of a “heddle” – in this photo the long metal rods.
These heddles are arranged on wooden frames called shafts and the way these are threaded, in part, determines the pattern of the woven textile.
Next, each thread is again threaded through a reed that has slots spaced evenly across its width.
This helps keep the threads spaced evenly across the width of the textile. Then, the threads are tied to a rod at the front of the loom.
This keeps the yarn under tension when we weave. Finally, some scrap yarn is put in to space the threads evenly and then we can finally start weaving that scarf.
So, you see, there is a lot of work that has to be done to set up the loom before any weaving actually starts. It can often take just as long to set up the loom as to weave the scarf. And we’re still not done – after the scarf comes off the loom it has to be “finished” – fringe has to be twisted and the scarf needs to be washed so that all the intersecting threads settle into position. Often when a scarf comes off the loom is it stiffer than you would want when you wear it. The finishing process also helps soften the fabric and makes it drape better when you wear the scarf.