Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Damask Step by Step (for Gertie in South Carolina and anyone else who might be interested)

OK, here goes . . . Damask, Step by Step, with photos! If you're not a weaver, or you already know how to weave damask, or you don't want to know, please feel free to skip this, or just admire the pretty pictures :) Otherwise, I suggest you read through the whole thing before you start. Hopefully it will help!

First the instruction sheet, as supplied by Gerlinde Binning:

  • We are working on an 8-shaft table loom. The background is an irregular satin and I'm using a pick-up technique. You can see I have the instructions clipped to my loom so I can check on each step.

Here is my design

  • If I had my time over, I wouldn't make the tail so complicated, that's a lot of counting. You can see how I've counted each square on each line of the design. The ticks are marking off the lines I've already completed.

  • This is a close up of the beginning of a few lines of the design. The ruler is there to help me keep my eyes on the line I'm working on.


1. Raise 2,3,6,7

Using graph, pick up one pair of threads for each shaded area unit, 1 square on graph. Skip any pairs not shaded in design.

  • First a general view showing a line picked up
  • This pic shows the first pick-up. The white card under the warp threads makes it easier to see and pick up the pairs of threads. The pick-up stick is flat and pointed (thanks John). The point makes it easy to count threads. A flat, pointed stick like this is called a "sword".
  • Then a close up view showing the pairs of threads as they are picked up. If you want to count from the right: I have left 9 pairs down, picked up 1, left 3 down, picked up 1, 1 down, 2 up, then picked up more threads that go on off the left hand side of the picture.
Place sword with this pick up behind reed
  • You can see the reed at the front of the pic. The sword is placed under the threads which were picked up in front of the reed.

Lower shafts. Raise 1 & 5.

  • OK, we're still looking at what's happening behind the reed. Shafts 1 & 5 are raised. The next step isn't on the instruction sheet, but it's "washing" the shed. This means pulling the sword forwards and backwards to make sure the shafts are sitting in the right place and the shed is clear. I've taken a pic of this step further down, but didn't want to confuse things by placing it out of order--in case you're looking at which shafts are actually raised.
  • By the way, sorry this pic is on it's side, I can't find a way to make it turn the right way--it is rotated anticlockwise on my file.

Weave one pick.

  • Finding this shed is maybe one of the trickiest things to get a handle on. That's why it's important to "wash" the shed before trying to weave.

Remove sword

2. Raise 1,4,5,8

Using graph, still the same line, pick up one pair of threads for background unit (split pairs)

  • General view with shafts 1,4,5,8 raised.

  • Close up view showing split pairs. This is the same line as I counted out above, so the count is 9 down, followed by one pair picked up etc. The threads are grouped differently though: at the far right you can see a pair and a half--that's 3 warp threads--then another 7 pairs of threads and another half pair for a total of 9 pairs--1 and a half plus 7 plus another half makes 9. I hope you're with me as this is maybe the second trickiest bit to communicate.
Place sword behind reed

  • This is a different view, so you can see the pick-up stick (sword) in front of the reed and the second sword placed behind the reed. Turning the front sword on it's side makes it easier to place the second sword.

Lower shafts

Raise 3 & 7

  • This is "washing" the shed, by moving the sword forwards and backwards.

  • This is how it looks once the shed has been "washed". Only shafts 3 & 7 are clearly raised.

Weave one pick.

Lower shafts.

Do not remove sword

3. Raise 2 & 6

  • The sword stays in place behind the reed while the shafts are changed. Then it's time to "wash" the shed again to clear it for the next pick.

Weave one pick

  • I've taken this shot at a different angle so you can see the sword behind the reed.
Lower shafts

Remove sword
4. Raise 2,3,6,7

Repeat line 1 pick up

  • This pic shows the front sword on its side in front of the reed and the second sword behind the reed.

Raise 4 & 8

Weave one pick

Remove sword

These 4 steps represent 1 line on design

  • Here's how it looks so far.

That's as much detail as I think I can provide using photos. I don't have a video camera or an operator to hold it for me today. I'll be interested to hear from anyone who has a go. I'll also ask Gerlinde, our weaving teacher, and Robyn, our tutor, to have a look at it for me.

Now I'd better go back and do some weaving!

1 comment:

Dee said...

wow! i am not a weaver... tht is so complex and i am having trouble following it all. i will have another go at it later. the bird is coming along nicely btw :)