The Weaving Process
Here is a brief description of how I go about weaving a scarf on a table loom. In this case, I'm making a Pitcairn scarf from the Remote Islands collection.
As part of the design process I will have worked out the order of the warp threads and which shaft each one should be threaded onto (the threading plan - at the top). The lift plan (on the right) shows which shafts will be lifted with each pick of the weft. The drawdown (at the bottom) shows how the warp and weft colours will interact in the finished textile.
I make the warp using a warping mill. By selecting different yarns in order I define the sequence of colours in the warp, as well as making sure that all the warp threads are in the right order and of equal length.
After winding the warp onto the back of the loom, I thread each warp end through a heddle. Each heddle is attached to one of the shafts on the loom. So when I'm weaving and lift any particular shaft, all the heddles attached to it, and all the warp ends in those heddles, are also lifted.
I pass each warp end through a metal reed. This makes sure that the warp ends are evenly spaced.
I then tie the warp to the front of the loom and I'm ready to start weaving.
The weft yarn is held in a shuttle and passed through the warp. For each pick (row) of weft, I lift some of the shafts (exactly which ones depends on the pattern being woven), pass the shuttle through, drop the shafts again and beat the weft into place.
The lifting plan (see top of this page) shows which shafts I need to lift for each weft pick and when I need to change the weft yarn colour.
I finish the ends of the scarf by sewing the last weft thread into the scarf edge (above) then use a rug-weaving technique to tie the cut warp ends to form a secure edge. Finally I wash the scarf by hand, trim the ends and sew on a label.
Here is the finished Pitcairn scarf - part of the Remote Islands collection.