Saturday, April 18, 2009
Not Finished Til It's Fulled....
~Above are the ends of the tablerunner I finished.".....many hand-weavers do not "finish" their wool projects. The reason seems to be that they either don't know how or are afraid to try. This is a serious mistake because wool that is unfinished is really not very different from other fibers. In fact, it is probably not worth using wool in hand-weaving if it's unique qualities aren't brought out." (Finishing Handwoven Wool Fabrics, by Harrisville Designs ) Well, nobody told ME anything like this when I began weaving. Of course, I did not have enough money to buy wool yarn when I began weaving and did not know how to spin my sheep's wool yet. So it maybe did not occur to the kind ladies who taught me how to weave to instruct me in finishing my handwoven pieces.
~The tablerunner, right off the loom. It is not finished yet. I thought it was, then I ran across this little booklet as I was planning another weaving project.~
~Well, after reading this informative little booklet, complete with illustrations and samples, I now understand why I like my handwoven tablerunners better AFTER several washings!~
~Here is the tablerunner fresh out of the washing machine. The booklet said to machine wash on regular 12 minute cycle with warm water and detergent. Air dry and steam iron press.~~Finishing wool consists of cleaning and felting or "fulling", as it is called......the variables to control are moisture, heat, and friction in the presence of a good soap or detergent." ~The table-runner, after "fulling", steam pressed. I braided the fringe ends of the table runner as you can see in the first picture above. This is woven with hand-spun Jacob sheep wool . I carded some angora into gray and home dyed pink wool to spin up this variegated yarn. .......There are so very many spiritual analogies one can apply in weaving, and finishing a piece of cloth. But another time....."Like a weaver I have rolled up my life ; he cuts me off from the loom....." Isaiah 38:12 "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle..." Job 7:6 ~~~Wool fabric isn't finished until it has undergone heat, friction, washing and pressing! Then of course , as fabric it is taken and cut and sewn into whatever the designer or creator makes of it. I don't think I am "fulled" yet. The Master Weaver has a design and pattern especially for me that was begun before I was ever born. He planned and made the warp, threaded the loom, and began weaving....and the cloth is not yet ready to cut off the loom.