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Rigid Heddle “fringe loom” inspires creative weave projects at ESDEMGA (Fashion and Design School, University of Vigo, Galicia) in north Spain


cntia
Cintia Roberta, fashion student at ESDEMGA, presents her bolero jacket project

The simplest of looms can produce sophisticated and fun results with a bit of imagination and daring, as Spanish Fine Art and Fashion students demonstrated in a recent Creatividad (creativity) workshop aimed at fusing the worlds of fashion and craft.  Spanish fashion designer brand American Perez teamed up with profesional weaver and textile artist, Anna Champeney, to lead students in an intensive workshop in which each student had to develop their own methodology, design and realise a weave project from start to finish, in just three days.

The workshop reflects the typically innovative approach to fine art and design education adopted by ESDEMGA which focuses on creative and experimental processes.  The creative partnerships between profesional Spanish craftspeople and fashion designers were formed to enable students to experience the different approaches taken by each sector to design and making as well as to discover a hands-on, process-based approach to design which encourages a greater sensitivity to textures and fabrics.

Veronica (ESDEMGA) tejiendo en el telar de fleco
Veronica (ESDEMGA) weaves textural felpa fabric (traditional Galician loop-pile fabri) to create a bag
yeray teje
Yeray Suarez combines glorious colours and textures to convert into a belt (ESDEMGA)
telar pequeño
The traditional fringe loom used by ESDEMGA students to create their textile projects


About the rigid heddle fringe loom

Looms similar to this one – measuring about 20 x 8cm – were common in Galicia, north Spain.  They were used to weave narrow bands of woven cloth with fringes and tassles which were then sewn onto the heavy, hand-woven folk coverlets as an extra flourish in the overall design.  Yarn wrapping and macrame techniques were also applied to the fringes to achieve different effects.  The ESDEMGA fashion and art students didn´t confine them to traditional linen and wool yarns, as the folk weavers did, however.  The brief, presented by Anna Champeney, at the beginning of the creative workshop, was to develop a metholodogy from scratch, using any and every material and yarn which could be used.  As such students used copper wire, wools and linens, strips of recycled cloth, and even 3-d objects and short lengths of willow (more commonly used in basketry not loom weaving) to weave with.  Narrow bands of woven fabric were combined and sewn together to make larger scale fabrics or 3-d objects such as bags.

Gallery – Creative Craft and Fashion Design Workshop at ESDEMGA (Faculty of Fine Arts in Pontevedra, Galicia) Spain July 2011

Congratulations to all the workshop students who worked so hard during the project:  Raquel Álvarez González, Marta González Fortes, Cintia Roberta Cuesta, Maria José Rodríguez Garcia, yeray Suárez Arenas, Pilar Ullod Rivera, Cristina Varela Casal, Maribel, Andrea y Carla.  All the pieces in the gallery below were made on the small fringe loom, as in the photo above.

animales


denim jacket

muñeca

piieza experimental

bolso por veronica

coccoon























More information:

Buy a small fringe loom from AC Estudio Textil for 15,50€ + p&p

ESDEMGA website


Linen herb bags – in stock again

herb sacksJust to let you know that our traditional Galician linen bags with lemon verbena grown here by us are now in stock again.  See the shop for more details.

100% pure lambswool with natural dyes – yarns for hand-weavers – new course dates for natural dyeing and loom weaving – holidays in Spain with a difference

New – natural-dyed lambswool yarn for weaving

naturally dyed yarns for sale for hand-weaversWe are now starting to sell naturally-dyed lambswool yarns for weaving.  The yarns are the same as we use in our own hand-woven textile range and also in our weaving and dyeing courses and are available in 3 different thicknesses.  All are suitable as warp and weft for weaving projects but can also be used in other textile crafts.  The 4/14nm is the chunkiest and the 2/14nm the finest (makes wonderfully soft scarves).  The current stock is dyed with Lanzarote cochineal but we are also able to dye to order with other natural dyes for larger quantities.  Dyed yarns are sold in large skeins of around 85 – 100g each.  We will be launching our natural-dyed yarns this month in our local fleamarket or rastro in Monforte de Lemos (Lugo province, Galicia, north Spain) (Sunday 12 June) but keep looking at our online shop as we hope to have the yarns featured there  in due course.  In the meantime, if you would like to purchase any of the yarn, contact us by email.  If you would like to try natural dyeing yourself then we also sell the yarn undyed, on cones, and as ready-wound skeins, complete with ready-weighed fixer (alum mordant) and instructions (in Spanish – but let us know if you need them in English too so we can prepare them for you).

pack of 5 lambswool skeins for dyeing with natural dyes


New dates for summer natural dyeing course for beginners on 20 and 21 August 2011 (course given in Spanish but we can always help out by translating terms if you don´t understand everything  )

Several people asked if there could be another introduction to natural dyeing course – in the summer – so here it is.   More information on the Spanish version of the blog here.  Intermediate level Spanish is sufficient to be able to participate.

Results of our short, intensive scarf weaving course for complete beginners – 5/6 June 2011 in Anna Champeney Textile Studio, north Spain

fi and maria weavemaria´s scarffi weavesJust have a look at these lovely soft scarves designed and hand-woven by weave pupils Fiona and Maria on their first weave course last weekend here at the textile studio.  You can see that there is no need to copy anyone elses design when you follow your instincts:  Fiona´s and Maria´s personalities and individual tastes have automatically transfered themselves onto the woven cloth they created.    Both scarves used our new 2/14nm natural dyed lambswool yarn as warp and apart from the fact that one warp had just one pink and the other had two pinks they were identical.  But the two scarves are very different in feel.

Fiona created a subtle, light-weight scarf by using  tussah silk singles dyed with indigo (light blue) and liquen (mauve) as weft in her light checked scarf.  The result was cool and understated and went well with her paler skin tone.  Maria´s scarf was woven with mainly lambswool in the weft, for a warmer scarf.  She combined the raspberry pink warp dyed with cochineal with another tone of cochineal – a bright saturated orangey-red as warp, plus details of a cool mauve, to create a scarf with a zingy spicey colourway which worked well against her different, olive skin.

Weaving your own linen fabric – ideal for lace makers, crocheters

linen fabric for lace makersMonica, a pupil of mine, sent me this photo of the linen fabric she wove in her first weave course at Anna Champeney Estudio Textil, north Spain, using linen, which she then embellished beautifully with her own hand-made lace edging.  Weaving with linen is not that difficult – this 5-day course has been run successfully with complete beginners for over 5 years now without any problems.  So if you would like to learn to weave with linen – to make your own towels, cushions, clothing or table runners then there are still places in our 5-day intensive course in July.  Weaving your own linen table runner or scarf to embellish with lace or crochet is far more fun than buying it.  As with our other courses, Spanish is the main course language but we can always provide language support in English.  For more information (in Spanish) click here.



How to weave a scarf on a 4-shaft loom – Easter weaving course at Anna Champeney Textile Studio (Spain)

The Easter holidays are now over but here you can see some of the photos of the three day complete textile weaving course for beginners here in the Ribeira Sacra (Galicia).   We all agreed that a weaving course like this must be one of the most relaxing – and unusual – ways to enjoy the Easter or spring break.

sample weaving muestras de aida y carmen durante el curso de tejeduría en telar

even on your first day you might invent your own weave patternWe kicked off the course with a quick introductory session to weaving on a pre-prepared loom and discover what terms like warp and weft actually mean and how a loom actually works.  In less than an hour our novice weavers had surprised themselves by weaving their first piece of cloth, creating their own simple designs and patterns.  By the end of the 3 days, we were all talking about warp density, picks, shafts, heddles and weave structure like true professionals!


how to use the in-built raddle of a Louet table loom

how to use the raddle of the Louet table looms - how to set a 4-shaft loom up to weave



Then the real work of the course began.  Armed with the technical project file the looms were set up with a popular threading, romantically called Rosepath.

Over the next day and a half the warp threads (the group of threads on the loom) were measured and threaded up on the loom.  Well done!  Not a single error in the pattern threading and only a couple of easy-to-repair errors in the reed threading.  This meant we were able to get straight onto the next stage which is always fun – sampling different designs, colours and yarns!

Sampling was the next stage and right from the beginning each person unconsciously started to explore their different personal styles and preferences for pattern, colour and texture.  Silk, lambswool and silk-wool mixes were tested out with the gorgeous natural dye colours of the AC Textile Studio.

coffee break under the lime treeWhen the samples were finished we sat down over coffee to analyse the bits we liked best and to see how different colours, yarns and patterns work and work out the design for the final pieces of work – the scarves.

make your own cloth on a loom in a course at AC Estudio Textil

The final proyect under way – pupils work against the clock to weave their own scarf.  We decided that weaving was so relaxing we could all have stayed weaving until nightfall – ending up with 4m long scarves!!!

removing the completed hand-woven scarf from the loomcarmen and her scarf

And the final results – Aida and Carmen´s first ever hand-woven scarves.  Nice work and I hope you notice the perfect colour co-ordination.

If you weren´t able to come to the Easter course and Aida´s and Carmen´s first scarves make you feel inspired then there is still time to reserve your place on the compact version of the course on the 5/6 of June 2011.  The course can be given in Spanish, English or in Spanish with English language support.  No previous weaving experience is necessary.

Thanks Aida and Carmen for being such good fun – I hope to see you both again in the summer!

Latest alpaca collapse scarf from Anna Champeney Estudio Textil

I´ve just finished weaving the latest sample design with alpaca and angora yarn combined with a high twist wool and corneta nylon yarn (from the Danish yarn purchasing association).  Left – on the loom, before washing, the scarf looks like a classic flat fabric.  But right – see what happens with a hot hand-wash;  corrugations form which bring out the soft grey with the orchil and cochineal-dyed yarns form a warmly coloured backdrop to the design.

alpaca scarf Artesanía textil en la Ribeira Sacra