This blog serves as my personal blog, but being as I took the name of it, and made it into an Etsy shop, I would like to do a better job of actually posting about Weaving & Weather. That being said, I would like to elaborate for you on little bits and pieces of how and why I do what I do. So if you are at all interested in the processes that I go through to make a scarf, stick around for some posts about my methods, tips, and tricks on weaving.
I don’t know if you have ever really thought about it, or noticed, but I often list two scarves at once. And the reason for this is, that I put enough fiber on my loom to create multiple scarves. About half the time, I try to plan out my scarves so that they can come from the same warp (the warp being the fiber – or yarn – that I dress the loom with; that is the yarn that runs the length of my scarf). The reason I do this, is to save time and supplies.
To make one scarf, I have to factor in about 36 inches of loom waste. So that is 36 inches of 240 strands of yarn that sadly and unfortunately has to go in the trash, because in all honesty there is not much else I can do with it. But if I put enough fiber on my loom to make two or more scarves at a time, then I still only just waste 36 inches. The waste does not double in such a case and therefore, I am saving supplies by doing more than one scarf at a time. And also, I only have to dress the loom once for however many scarves I am making. To prepare my yarn and dress the loom generally takes about 1/3 of my total weaving time, so if I only have to do it once for two scarves, I can use that extra time to weave more!
Now obviously, I don’t always weave my scarves in pairs, but if I can come up with two unique and individual scarves from the same warp, I am all about saving time and resources and delivering the products to you more efficiently!
So you might wonder how it is that I can have two scarves on my loom at once. Well, I have to really keep track of my weaving progress, marking every foot that is woven, until I reach the end of one scarf. Once I am at the end, and have woven my desired length, I then weave a decent amount with a packing material.
For my packing material, I use a combination of strips of fabric scraps and (I know this will probably sounds weird, but this is how I was taught, and I am a firm believer in this choice of packing material) toilet paper – to clarify, clean, brand-spankin’ new, never touched the bathroom toilet paper. I have found that a combination of the two works the best for me to keep the warp tight like it needs to be for the weaving process. I would use all toilet paper, because I think it works the best, but you can only reuse it so many times before it starts to ripe apart, so the fabric is a studier packing material and I can use and reuse it as many times as I need to so as to not waste the paper.
And the best part about this is, the part that is woven with the packing material, does not go to waste! It becomes the fringe for the two scarves that it is in between. Great right! I love that little trick.
So, as you can see in this last photo. The first scarf I completed, is wrapped around the take up wheel, then comes the packing, and now I am ready to weave my second scarf! I love how putting double the amount of yarn on my loom can increase my productivity. And I give you my honest word, that in doing this, absolutely no quality is lost. I still spend the required time, effort, and concentration needed on my scarves because I take a great amount of pride in the work that I produce and would not use a technique that would decrease the quality.
So I hope that you enjoyed this little glimpse into the production of a handwoven bamboo scarf. Stay turned for more to come!