Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 4 – Textile Structures – Project 9 Woven Structures – Stage 3 Experimenting with different materials

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Ref: Assignment 4 A3 Workbook pages 20-22

Having conducted my earlier experiments with weaving on a small loom with a rigid heddle, I bought a wooden tapestry frame as suggested in the course notes so that I could compare the two.   I liked the rigid heddle loom and found it easy to use, it was much quicker to warp up than the tapestry frame.  My frame is a little large at 20″ x 20″ but that was all that was available on the day.  I found it cumbersome to warp up and more difficult to maintain an even tension than the small loom. Initially, I also found it more awkward to bring forward the back layer of threads but when using bulky materials, it is definitely easier to use than the smaller rigid heddle loom.

The frame was marked in inches, four either side of the central point and I wound a total of 34 ends in Tussah Silk Noil ll 3/4nm and made a heading cord.  This was quite fiddly and time consuming so next time I will try weaving two or three picks of warp thread across the warp.


From the left, materials used include acrylic yarn for a firm base, cotton cord, sari silk strips, some fibrous matter used in floristry, strips of nylon shower curtain, natural raffia and hand dyed muslin.  The white area including some curved weft uses synthetic lace, a variety of sheers some metallic polyester, satin ribbon, cotton lawn, silver thread and nylon net.  The first mauve pick is plastic packaging, then some metallic synthetics, a firmer net, more plastic then some fibrous floristry wrapping and some rug yarn to finish with a firmer weft.

It has shrunk from 8″ to 7 1/2″ showing that I need to concentrate more on keeping a looser tension.  Most materials worked well.  The sari silk might have been improved by being narrower and I really liked the soft but knobbly texture of the the hand dyed muslin and fine lawn.  The four bands of stiff net, matt plastic and floristry wrapping between the fluorescent pink and the black on the right had an interesting coarse texture .  I like the way the warp shows through the stiff net.

This was an interesting exploration of materials but as the section suggests working in a freer and more experimental way exploring different effects and concentrating more “on the quality of the materials in visual terms and being as experimental as I dare”, I have also prepared the following sample.


Some of the materials were more interesting to me than others like the yellow fruit net in the bottom right hand corner and the large holed yellow net, the brown paper with the pink pompoms above, the burgundy gift ribbon, bronze beads and green woven plastic sack at the top.  Also included was some bubble wrap, bandage and plastic wrapping.

Having selected some of my preferred material, I chose a ‘Carnival’ mix of colour and produced the following although I’m not sure I like it as much as the experimental weave above.  There are elements of that piece that work better, the contrast provided by the burgundy shiny gift tie and the dark red wool, the pink pompoms tumbling down the brown tissue paper slope.  The weave below is a bit dull, doesn’t flow, the curves aren’t pronounced enough there is less textural contrast as well as colour contrast.  The pompoms are slightly bigger and less effective.



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