Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Well Dressed

My loom is dressed!
It's one of the expressions in weaving that I find amusing--the process of putting the warp on the loom is referred to as, "dressing the loom". I guess an empty loom does look kind of naked, but this one is now clothed in 172 threads of yellow cottolin. Just so you can appreciate what I've been doing all morning: each thread has to be pulled through a loop in a wire heddle--those are the heddles hanging on the frames in the middle of the loom. Of course the threads have to go in a particular order. Then another lot of threading to get the threads through the gaps in the reed. That's the metal comb-like structure at the front of the loom. The heddles determine which threads are raised while weaving the pattern. The reed spaces the threads evenly and determines the finished width of the fabric.
It's fashion week in Melbourne this week and the papers are full of slim young models . . . I don't think my loom will be gracing the catwalk any time soon. Its figure is a bit blocky and its clothing rather scant. And I'm glad it doesn't have the attitude that seems to go with fashion presentations. I'm happy for my loom to just sit nicely on the table and let me tell it what to do.
Now I'm going to abandon it for an hour or so. I need to fill up the car. The tank's nearly empty and I don't want to run out on my way to class tonight. Hopefully I'll make it to the petrol station without too many hiccups, but I'd rather have any drama this afternoon than this evening.

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