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Textilesnaturales` pupils show their work – Naomi from London

foulard en seda y bamboo by Naomi (pupil of Textilesnaturales & Anna Champeney Estudio Textil) Naomi has just been with us here in north Spain for one-to-one tuition in Galician felpa.

She hopes to apply the technique to wallpieces and is attracted to it for the freedom to design and the textural effect of the loops.

Naomi is based in London and has been weaving for 4 years.  She has learned from a number of different British and international  tutors on the 2 year diploma from Handweavers´ Studio.

This American-designed scarf, in bamboo and silk, was made to a design found online at Weaving Today by Naomi.  She adapted the design, substituting the materials and colours in the original design.  The textile has a lovely weight and drape to it.  You can find the full design on the Weaving Today website.

Scarf Design:  Bonnie Innouye

  • Warp colour order:  gold + colour + gold colour (except in areas where the colour changes)
  • Loom requirements:  8 shafts and 10 pedals
  • Design information:  The sett of this scarf is very close, with the number of ends per cm equal to the number of yarn wraps in a cm.  The weft is considerably finer than the warp which helps to make the scarf have a wonderful drape despite the close warp sett.  Bamboo and silk are the yarns used which again result in a luxurious texture, drape and surface.
  • Woven by:  Naomi is London-based and has woven for 4 00years.  She completed the 2-year diploma course offered by Handweavers´ Studio in London.

Next weave course at Anna Champeney Estudio Textil: November and December 2014 scarf weaving for beginners upwards.

How to organise a photoshoot for your craft products: Costs and Food for thought by Textilesnaturales

coach winter 2014 style report gudrunsjoden dot com gudrunsjoden sale Tori Murphy textilesEver wondered about having really good photography to promote your hand-woven, embroidered, crocheted or knitted textiles or craft products better?

As craftspeople we´re always being told how important it is to have great images of our work.  And it is certainly true that the public will value your work higher if you present it professionally.

As a textile maker specialising in scarves as well as cushions it´s even more important;  textiles need to be seen really well to be appreciated as their texture, drape and surface need to be shown.  You may consider yourself to be a fairly good amateur photographer, having learned photography at school or developed your own black and photographs (yes, in the non-digital age) years ago in a darkroom.  But recognising your own limitations – or those of your humble pocket digital camera, you might be interested to learn about the costs of a modest professional photo-shoot.

And here you have some interesting figures to think about as a craft maker too;  for you may be working hard for well over a year to finance your publicity.  Thanks to Ruben Vilanova (Photographer in Galicia, northwest Spain:  T.616 736 992) for the below information which is approximate and accurate for 2014.

  • Cost of hiring a model starting out who is not signed on with any agency and may not have any experience – 200€ – 400€ per day
  • Cost of a standard model – 500€ to 1000€ or more
  • Travel costs (for about 75km) – around 100€
  • Hair and makeup – 400€ – 600€
  • Stylist – (min.) 500€

… so you´re talking about between an absolute minimim of 1200€ (without a stylist) – 2400€ – and quite possibly more – before you even think about the photographer´s costs.

It´s a chicken-and-egg kind of problem.   You need great photography to sell your work but your limited production and the hand-made nature of your work means that you have a very small profit margin and any spend on publicity has to be thought about very carefully.

These days image is so important but few individual craftspeople have any budget to spend on publicity.  Or put another way, if each hand-made craft object costing 240€ to the public includes 7€ for publicity costs then the maker would need to make and sell, maybe, about 430 of these objects in order to recoup his or her costs.  If every such object requires a total of 8 hours work – including making, designing, finishing – and not forgetting the other associated administrative work which every maker spends, on average, 2 days a week doing –  then that means working solidly, with no holidays, for over a year to recoup the costs of the publicity.  Think about it……  It´s only the kind of publicity that a craft co-operative or larger craft workshop can really envisage doing unless supported by government grants or supplementing their hand-made work – usually the least profitable activity – with teaching, lecturing or producing ranges of work which are not totally hand-made.

Other cheap d.i.y. solutions:

  • Approach local fashion colleges to see if any last year students would like to act as advisory stylists as work experience (but be aware that they might not be able to represent you in a commercial enough way – if their creative urges get the better of them).
  • Approach photographers to see if they work with propective models who need images to show to prospective clients or agencies.
  • Try to act as your own stylist – find images of similar work to yours to show to the photographer and select your own props.
  • Maybe link up with other makers whose work complements your own or who would like to share the costs with you.

Can I weave this? (C) Cotton muslin baby fabric analysed by textile designer Anna Champeney


Woven fabric analysis by Anna Champeney Estudio Textil

baby fabric 500 pixWhat is the white fabric in this picture and what is it like?

This is traditional washable nappy fabric made from unplied cotton.  It´s a double-weave fabric woven as separate layer squares.

The way that this simple, everyday fabric has been designed and woven means that  fabric is soft, flexible and absorbent.  Whilst few people use this fabric for nappies today it still comes in very handy for using with babies as you can see;  it´s gentle on their skin.

How can you tell the fabric is double weave?

A double weave cloth is one that is woven in two completely different and complete layers.  So you can tell just by looking and feeling a fabric.  You can see each layer of this fabric more easily in the close-up photo.  If I pull at the squares I can actually pull them open with my fingers – they´re like closed pockets.

Looking close up also makes you appreciate just how open the weave is.  This makes it softer and more drapable but without reducing its absorbency.  Of course it´s also cheaper for the textile mill to produce a more open fabric as less yarn is used compared to a denser fabric.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow exactly is the fabric constructed?

The square design visible in the main photo is due to the separate layers of the fabric being joined together at the edge of the squares at top, bottom left and right.  In double weave there are several ways to do this depending on how many shafts and pedals your loom has.

Here, warpwise, the left and right sides of each square are joined with areas of simple, one-layer plainweave which looks a more dense fabric with the threads closer together.  You can see the 3 warp ends which create this effect on the closeup photo I took).

To achieve this effect means you need two extra shafts.  This plainweave section will be stiffer than the double weave but it´s necessary to give the fabric consistency and to join the two layers together.

The top and bottom sides of the squares are achieved in a different way – by weaving just one pick of plainweave.

Can I weave this on 4 shafts?

Sadly, no you can´t.  You need a loom with 6 shafts and at least 5 pedals to weave the double weave pockets.  However, on a 4-shaft loom you CAN weave double weave tubes.

Feel inspired?  Want to know more?

Contact us to arrange tuition in weave, introduction to woven fabric design and fabric analysis with Anna Champeney Estudio Textil in north Spain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Which threads are the warp? The woven selvedge at the right and the cut edge at the top of the fabric show you that the warp runs from top to bottom in this photo.