The How of Weaving

I am a weaver.

My loom is a support mechanism that holds everything together until the entire piece is woven. When I finish weaving, the fabric becomes an entity unto itself, no longer requiring support. I then free it from its temporary support, the loom.

The warp, the lengthwise threads that stretch along the loom, front to back, forms the foundation of the fabric. Warping the loom includes all the preparation to create a strong foundation. An effectively warped loom ensures that the weaving will proceed smoothly, resulting in a woven cloth that not only holds together, but is also beautiful.

Many weavers feel that preparing the foundation is tedious, but I’ve always enjoyed it. Yes, warping the loom requires several steps, some of which can be frustrating, and the potential for mistakes is always high, but I always reveled in the challenge of the trickier steps and found peaceful meditation in the more tedious ones. I might make a mistake or more along the way, but the mistakes are usually easily remedied.

When I warp my loom, I attach one end of the warp threads across the width of the back of the loom and tie the other end of the threads to the front of the loom, while creating an even tension across the warp. Between the back and the front of the loom, the warp threads follow a journey that determines the pattern in the weaving. I guide the warp threads through this journey by threading each thread along its individual path. Each warp thread is a part of a whole; all the warp threads together, following the entire set of pathways, form the overall pattern.

The weft is the thread that is used to bind the warp together. The weaver passes it across the width of the warp, over and under, back and forth, weaving, interlacing. As the weaver advances row by row, the pattern emerges, giving birth to the fabric.

The journey to reweave myself into being is ongoing. The beauty in the patterns emerges as I continue to pass my shuttle to and fro. I make mistakes along the way. Some are easy to remedy, others become design elements. My days are filled with surprises, some good, some bad. But overall, I am happy with the fabric of my life, my new life.