Community Shawl: It takes a whole village

You know how some people have a word, connection, trust, believe, attraversiamo. This year, I have a word. Community!


A friend of mine asked "what is missing in your life, the presence of which, would make a difference?" Community.

And I have asked "what is missing in this life, the presence of which, would make a difference?" Community!

A lady came into the Cloth of Kin shop and was looking for a scarf. She picked up a piece of fabric that had recently come off the loom and marvelled at how many bright colours there were. We had called the series "Centennial Celebration" which was our studio's little way of celebrating 100 completed custom orders. I told her the story of how we had taken each colour from each custom order and laid them out in order, creating a snap shot of the custom colours we've had the pleasure of weaving. "Oh! It's a community shawl!" she said, and the name struck a chord.

There were too many colours to fit into a single piece. We ended up making 3 warps to fit the 1,800 colours from our 100 custom orders. 3 bolts of fabric that represent the beautiful, blossoming community of weavers, wearers, storytellers, and life creators, the village, the lives interwoven. Community!

Can you see yourself in there somewhere?


The Difference Between Warp and Weft

Right here in Black and White!  And Grey and Beige! Are you thinking of designing custom ordered handwoven fabric?  The world of handmade textiles is full of archaic terms such as warp and weft, heddles and beaters, spindles, and maidenheads, just to name a few!
WARP is lengthwise threads fastened to the loom from back to front and DOES NOT CHANGE throughout the weaving.

WEFT is widthwise threads that pass through the warp using a bobbin and a shuttle. The weaver throws the shuttle back and forth between the warp threads and that is how the cloth is made. WEFT is interchangeable! The weaver can change weft as many or as few times as they wish. Changing weft slows down the weaving process as the weaver must stop, tuck in loose in ends, change the colour, and continue. READ $$$!
I have used a piece of CLOTH OF KIN above to demonstrate. The WARP colours from left to right are green, pink, yellow, burgundy, red, blue, etc. The WEFT colours from bottom to top are grey, black, beige, and white.

You can see that the weft colours slightly change the look of the warp colours, but the basic warp sequence never changes. When I weave a new warp, I like to do a sample of weft colours to see what weft will “increase the vibration” of the cloth, basically, bring out the colours in the most gratifying way. Even after 12 years of weaving experience, the results are often unexpected, hence the sample.

Can you guess which colour I chose for the Cloth of Kin above?
...It was grey. In this case, I wanted the least amount of interference with all the primaries in the warp colours. Good luck with designing your WARPS and your WEFTS!