I have come to weaving late in life. Currently I am sneaking up on 57 years old this June and started seriously weaving a little over 3 years ago. It should be known I did have a leg up by being no stranger to working with fiber and textiles. Some of the crafts I do are knitting, crochet, embroidery, needlepoint, kumihimo, and sewing. String has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager. Weaving was new to me.
Weaving is a craft that anyone can start at anytime, at any age. Your success depends on the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to it. There is no right or wrong amount of time. What you choose depends on what you want to get out of the weaving. Are you doing it for fun? Are you doing it for a purpose? Gifts? Personal use? Or, do you wish to try to make a living or pocket money from the sale of the items you make? What your motivation is to produce textiles is your own.
I myself like to make things with my hands. I like to try new techniques, learn new things, and to work with color and texture. Fiber arts has allowed me access to a whole world of design. At some point there comes a time when you realize there are only so many yards of fabric you can use yourself. You begin to think “I wonder if I someone else would like my work?”. That is when the game changes from being loose and free with quality, and trying to make the best product of the highest quality you can. Higher quality demands higher prices and brings a different audience to your table.
To achieve an increase in your quality and skills you start to read books, take classes, and attend juried craft shows to see how others are doing what you do. You then come home, sit behind your loom, and practice, practice, practice. Little by little your tension is better, your edges are neater, your width is consistent, and someone says “Hey! Can I buy that?”. The feeling that your work is appreciated and wanted encourages you to move on. In the end you find the old adage IS true that “Practice Makes Perfect”.
When I design a new weaving project I take a lot of things into consideration,
end use of the band
In this project I chose the colors of the Baltimore Ravens. Black and Purple. Since it was not meant to be used for historical reenactment I used a modern, good quality acrylic yarn. Yes, it is possible to find good quality acrylic yarn. Like any other material you get what you pay for. This yarn won’t pill or fuzz up, and is machine washable and dryable. The original plan was to make a dog leash from this length but it was purchased by a patron as a raw length of band. Ah well, I’ll just have to make another one!
I can make bands in what ever team colors you like, be it professional sports, high school sports or local teams. Drop me a line and let me weave a project for you! Contact me at email@example.com for more details.
Here on the OBX it’s dreary and rainy today. It’s a good studio day to weave. The softly falling rain is a nice background sound for concentration. The air smells clean too.
I’m working on two weaving projects today. On the left is the band for 2 casual d-ring ladies belts and on the right is a commission for wool medieval garters for a friend who gives them for poetry competition prizes. I am happy to accept weaving commissions. On average, 2.5 yds of inkle band is about $25-$30 depending on the cost of the yarn. I can also weave up to 9 yard lengths. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with length, width, colors and material. I accept PayPal.
One of the items I make with some regularity are garters for the medieval reenactment crowd. Garters are lengths of woven ribbon or braid used to support non-stretch stockings, socks, and hosen. Early in fashion history stockings were made out of woven material that was cut on the bias to give some stretch but they were still baggy and did not stay up around the knee where they were supposed to. In comes the garter. You put the stocking on, tie the garter over the stocking to your leg, and voila! Your leg covering stays put. Generally below the knee pre-1600 or above the knee post-1600.
Garters came in many materials, woven wool, silk or linen. They were also leather with buckles, woven bands with buckles, or just tied around the leg. Some were very plain but if you had the money or the station they could be embroidered, pearled, or just fancy woven designs. All in all a useful fashion accessory that had a lot of potential for personalization.
If you are interested in a custom set of garters contact me for more information. I can weave or embroider your design. At this time I am not able to weave letters/phrases but I can embroider them. Depending on the complexity of design and the materials used, prices start at $25.00 per 31″ long pair.
Spring is in the air and my color needs are brightening up. So I dug through the stash and found these great colors in 100% cotton. I haven’t decided what I will make out of this band. Maybe garters, maybe a purse strap, or maybe even a dog lead. In any event it will be in my Etsy shop for you soon. If you like this and would like it before I make it into something drop me a line. email@example.com. The raw length is aprox. 2.5yds and will be listed for $20.00.