STUDIO VISIT : BEHIND THE LOOM

Hi everyone!  This week, Nastassja took us behind the loom in the weaving studio in the Fine Arts Building of Virginia Commonwealth University.  She demonstrated the steps to create the beautiful handwoven fabric in the photo above; just the start to a larger project she plans to continue working on.  

Here's a full look into the weaving studio, and all the looms the Fibers students have access to!

Nastassja is getting all of her materials together, and the most important of all is the cotton yarn she'll be using for the warp. She plans to weave a piece of fabric six inches in width, so after some calculating, she knows she has to wind 72 warp ends. 

Where else can you find a view this awesome? Nastassja is sleying the reed, a fancy phrase for putting each thread through the dents of the reed-- the part of the loom that pushes the weft yarn into place as it's woven. 

Moving along pretty swiftly, she's now threading the warp. Each warp end has to be threaded through its own heddle-which is like a metal stick with a hole that allows the yarn to pass through.

Now on to Day 2, here's a progress shot of what Nastassja has woven so far. She's weaving a balanced twill pattern, which forms those cool diagonals; and playing with some discontinuous weft- simply meaning that there is not a weft that passes from one end of the fabric to the other, instead there are two separate wefts.

 

Be sure to check out the video below to see a more in depth view of her process.