Monday, May 4, 2009

Protecting Your Woven Cloth ~ Protecting the Web

I’ve loaded Lily Louet with 6 yards of 2/10 black Tencel and plan to make two long scarves. I had a couple of bobbin wound cheeses of black Tencel and it looked like enough. Look what I have left after making the warp - less than 20 yards!
The warp is 2/20 hand dyed bombyx silk, and the pattern I chose is a fancy 8 shaft twill that has lots of treadling and tie up options. The pattern is from Twill Thrills and is called Frost Crystals in Twill by Doramay Keasbey.
I love it! The real benefit to this pattern is that you can change the tie up six different ways and even though you treadle the same, you can achieve six very different scarves. I may just have to try them all!
The first 15 inches wove very quickly and as it wound around the cloth beam I thought I’d show you what I use so that the metal rods and knots don’t ruin my woven web. Even though my knots are small my metal rod is large as you can see, so that if I don't protect my weaving there would be some distortion.
I use a 12 inch wide piece of corrugated cardboard and insert it between the web and the cloth beam the first time the web goes around. Protecting your web makes a real difference to the condition the weaving is in when you unwind it from the cloth beam. Here is the cardboard in place, nice and snug.On another note:

A couple of weeks ago I went to a Ponderosa Guild event where Laura Fry spoke for a few hours on the subject of “The Business of Weaving”. Laura does a full workshop on this topic, but she was on a flying visit and was able to speak to our small group and give us an overview. The most asked question was “How do I price my work?” Seems that it’s a universally asked question, and it turns out most of us devalue our weaving by not including all of our costs. The overall message I got was to be totally honest with myself on how long it takes me to produce an article and to take that into account in my pricing. Since I am not now, and never will be, a production weaver I don’t need to recoup my equipment costs or business overheads, but I would like to be paid for my time as well as my yarn. Pricing should include a reasonable profit and if an item doesn’t sell after a few shows – increase the price! What do you think?

Weaving Words
The English word cloth is derived from Clotho, the name of the spinner in Greek myths.


bspinner said...

Wow! What a great warp, weft and pattern! The scarves are more than beautiful. Thanks for the tip about using cardboard to cushion the ties. I have always used just brown warping paper folded a couple of times. I like the cardboard much better.

I agree. I think we all under price our woven products, which doesn't do us or are fellow craftsman any good.
WeaveZine as a great article How Much? Pricing Handwovens by Nadine Sanders. There's even a worksheet available for download.

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

Love the colors and pattern!!! Thank you so much for the tip too;) I'll be using cardboard from now on to prevent those dents in my first few inches;)

Susan said...

I love the pattern.... but then you knew that I would :)
(Snowflake twills and I go way back!) It's such a visually interesting weave to study and always gets comments when worn.
The black and violet is a stunning colour combination. The colours really pop.
The fact you can change the tie up and produce a series of scarves is especially nice.

Nice pictorial on the cardboard protection! The rod and knots always bothered me and I took to using protection right as a new weaver. On especially delicate warps ( fine silks etc) I would use a section of bubble wrap that would depress as tension wound on. This was expensive,and not to mention 'un green' to carry on, and so I moved onto using what I had to hand. Warping sticks. I slip into the first turn onto the cloth beam, warping sticks carefully placed. It seems to work well and no trouble so far *touch wood*


charlotte said...

This pattern is great, i like it very much! Is it difficult to weave with a silk warp?
I also think we do underprice our work. Our pricing is under pressure from both cheap industrial production and from hobby weavers, who only charge yarn costs.

Life Looms Large said...

Scarves are beautiful! I worked with tencel for the first time at that color workshop two weeks ago, and I definitely like it!

I remember seeing that pattern in Twill Thrills and liking it - but I LOVE the version you've done with such great colors!!

Thank you for the reminder to protect the beginning of my warp. I just caught on to that trick, but I still sometimes forget. Sometimes I have giant knots in the front of my warp that distort things, and I definitely get better results if I guard against that. (I happen to know that I forgot to do that on the table loom that I'm weaving on right results aren't terrible yet....but I should really have done it!) And I'm glad to see from other comments (Susan) that it's OK to use sticks. That's what I use....except on this little borrowed table loom I don't have any the right size.

I have no clue about pricing. Basically I take really long to make things, and anything I make would then be ridiculously expensive. So far I give things as gifts.....but some day I might get prolific enough to sell things. And then I'll learn from you!!


skiingweaver said...

Gorgeous!! And good luck with your upcoming Guild sale...

As to pricing, I think everybody struggles with this... I pay myself an hourly wage and then make sure I at least double my material costs (though I do buy most of my yarn wholesale, so I suppose I should be more than doubling it). And I do take into account things like Etsy and PayPal/ProPay fees as well, but don't worry as much about equipment costs or overhead either.

The thing I've found is - I guess I actually weave quite quickly, so other weavers sometimes think I'm underpricing, when I'm actually paying myself a pretty decent hourly wage (though nowhere what I get as a lawyer - what's up with that??).

Hmm. Now I'm thinking of giving myself a raise, actually. :) Just when I think something may be priced a little high, somebody walks into my studio and buys three at once! :)

charlotte said...

Thank you so much for your comment in my blog. There was an award in that post for you, I thought you might not have seen it, because I discovered later that I spelled your name the wrong way...