Thursday, March 30, 2006

To Soumak or Not

Weaving yesterday on the big Shannock was heavenly. The movement of the sheds with the feet make it a relaxing and pleasant experience. It is much easier on the back than my baby Shannock which requires me to raise my arm to shoulder height or more to change the shed.

The hem is done and was done quite quickly. I ended up doing three slits and wove the hem in four sections. I experimented with about ten color combinations in the two middle sections. I kept the black on the sides to blend in with the black which will be on the right side of the piece. The potential colors look great and I am excited to move forward. There was little pull in. Looks like the piece will be about 22 1/2 inches wide.

I am now deciding whether to use a row of soumak or not between the hem and the rest of the weaving. I often do that since I had heard it was a good way to make sure the warp stays covered when the tapestry is folded at the top and bottom. I also remember somewhere that perhaps more than one row is good.

Yesterday afternoon I flipped through the Carol Russell Tapestry Handbook I read a few pages here or there looking for guidance. This morning I took a different approach, I let my left brain do the searching -found the index which told me the actual page for information on hems - found my answer.

Here is what it said:

'Hemming is another aspect of tapestry finishing about which there are many
theories...A favorite method of many weavers is to weave about 1 " of solid
tapestry background above the first heading, then a row of soumak knots marking
the actual edge of the tapestry. This highly recommended method,
duplicated at both ends of a tapestry, results in perfectly even hems,
well-concealed headings, two uniform edges, and the flattest possible folds in a
heavy textile.'

Oh yes! One row of soumak coming up. Who wouldn't want their hems described as 'perfectly even'... 'well-concealed'...'uniform' ... and the 'flattest possible'?

1 comment:

Undiva said...

Thank you for actually looking up the hem info, CFS - and for encouraging me to think about what I'm doing too. Your loom looks luscious in action!