Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Weft Weaving

Weft is a hidden destination in downtown Mechanicsburg that offers studio space and basic instructions for personal weaving sessions. The intimate studio holds eight Saori looms, imported from Japan. Owner, Nelly Smith has the looms already set up with the threads, so as soon as you step foot inside, you are invited to select your starting color/thread, and after a basic instruction, you are set loose to begin weaving. 

 In weaving, weft is the definition for the crosswise threads on a loom over and under which other threads (the warp) are passed to make cloth. There's a bit of coordination with working the pedals and weaving the threads back and forth, pulling the loom towards you, but not too tight. Once you have the basics, the design practically creates itself.

Susanna arranged for a private weaving session when family was visiting over the holidays. We all found a seat, a loom, and our initial color, and fell into the rhythm of the loom.

Multiple colors of thread and additional cloth pieces of varying textures were available throughout the studio. So many choices!

When you reached the point where you felt your project was complete, it was time to remove the weaving from the loom and tie off the strings. This took a little more patience, but it is what finishes the project. The antique iron helps to hold the piece in place as you fiddle with the final strings, making clusters of knots along the top and bottom edges.

No two pieces alike, but our instructor did say that similarities between family members and their project usually pop up, and in our case, we had many pieces that featured a range of purple hues.
We were all pleased with the results of our 'wabi-sabi' weaving session. 'Wabi-sabi' weaving is a freestyle weaving technique where there are no mistakes, only beauty resulting from the imperfections.


Maryanne said...

What a great idea! We'll be trying this the next time the kids come in to visit. I know our daughter-in-law would enjoy it, and most likely our son too. He'd enjoy the mathematical angle of it like he did with lavender wands!

Tina Sams said...

You come up with the coolest things to do!

Marilyn Miller said...

Now that sounds like such a fun thing to do together.
What a treat to only have to come in, sit down and do the weft weaving.
I love this idea.