There was men weaving on “pit looms” the most exquisite silk saris. Their sons would often sit with them to learn the trade. The homes where this takes place, were frequently poorly lit. Interestingly they were also listening to cricket on the radio ( and India was winning!)This lady attempted to show us how to work Chiken stitch a traditional shadow stitch often worked on saris and pashminas. I tried hard but failed miserably!Market stalls were piled high with traditional textiles in eye popping colours.
Traditional crafts were apparent in the maintenance of buildings, contrasting with the poverty on the roadsides and city streets.
on my recent “Textile Treasure Hunt” to India I saw many people working long hours in often, difficult conditions. They were invariably pleasant, smiley and happy.
This Textile Treasure Hunt here in Varanasi India just keeps on giving. Today we visited silk weaving. This is carried out in the homes of local people in rural areas. I
am in a permanent state of shock, both culturally and dietary. The people are lovely and regard us as odd because many rural communities have not seen “white”faces before, especially the children.
The silk weaving is the main occupation and carried out by the men. It is a patriarchal society.
The silk produced is beautiful, colourful and hand woven. It is mainly produced for Saris, scarves and for dressmaking.
This morning we visited a Hindu village where the looms are hand driven just as they have been for hundreds of years. During the afternoon we went to a Muslim area of Varanasi where the looms are motor driven . We had the inevitable shopping opportunity where a beautiful silk scarf found its way into my bag!
just an example of some of the intricate weaving.
I have mentioned my Monday craft group many times. The wonderful thing about it is the people ( of course) and the diversity of crafts that we have. There are spinners, knitters, crocheters, knitters, lace makers, knitters, embroiderers, sewers, knitters,and weavers. When we meet there is also a huge amount of chatter and laughter.
I recently commissioned one of the weavers, who happens to be the only guy, to make cushions. I wanted one for myself and one for my daughter. I must confess that he was very patient as I wanted mine to be woven in red. But not too red. With white but not too white. He was spot on with my request!
I also asked him to make a “purplish” cushion for my daughter. Again it was perfect.
Trevor also weaves the most beautiful scarfs which are soft and warm.
It didnt occur to me until I purchased these cushions that there is no need for a zip or fasten. Just use a polyester filled cushion pad and carefully wash cover and pad in one go when necessary! Easy!
I went to Woolfest in Cockermouth Cumbria this week. We took Damnvan1 and stayed at a place called Scotgate in Braithwaite. This was so that I could catch the bus at the campsite gate. The plan worked beautifully and I caught the free bus (I like free!) from Cockermouth to the venue which was an out of town animal auction mart.
There was a lot of wool, not a great surprise. There was wool in every style, colour and type.
The animal pens were turned into mini shops or stalls and there was the authentic aroma of animals! There were prize winning sheep on view, looking very bored. There were Lamas looking very snooty.
Most of the spinners, weavers and knitters were local with many individual dyers and commercial enterprises. It was lovely to see and great to talk to the business owners about their products This event s definitely in the diary for next year. I will up date you on my ever growing stash very soon.
This word has always confused me! Thank you to Wikipedia for this info.
According to the Craft Yarn Council, the term “Worsted Weight”, also known as “Afghan”, “Aran”, or simply “Medium”, refers to a particular weight of yarn that produces a gauge of 16-20 stitches per 4 inches of stockinette, and is best knitted with 4.5mm to 5.5mm needles (US size 7-9).
Worsted wool fabric is typically used in the making of tailored garments such as suits, as opposed to woollen wool which is used for knitted items such as sweaters
The essential feature of worsted yarn is straight, parallel fibres. Originally, long, fine staple wool was spun to create worsted yarn; today, other long fibres are also used.
Many spinners differentiate between worsted preparation and worsted spinning. Worsted preparation refers to the way the fibre is prepared before spinning, using ginning machines which force the fibre staples to lie parallel to each other. Once these fibres have been made into a top, they are then combed to remove the short fibres. The long fibres are combined in subsequent gilling machines to again make the fibres parallel. This produces overlapping untwisted strands called slivers. Worsted spinning refers to using a worsted technique, which produces a smooth yarn in which the fibres lie parallel.Examples of Worsted Wool
Wordsmith Wednesday is a short weekly blog post that aims to define a word a week. I try to choose a “crafty” or “vintagey” associated word ( I don’t think that vintagey is a real word!) It may broaden your vocabulary or widen your word knowledge, or maybe just fun!
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs (in contrast with a satin and plain weave). This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a “step” or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this structure, twills generally drape well.
Examples of twill fabric are denim, tweed, chino, gabardine, drill, covert, and serge.
Warp and Weft are commonly used terms amongst my crafty friends but maybe they are words that other, none crafters, may not know.
Warp and weft in plain weaving
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means “that which is thrown across” (Old English wearp, from weorpan, to throw, cf. German werfen, Dutch werpen).
Very simple looms use a spiral warp, in which a single, very long yarn is wound around a pair of sticks or beams in a spiral pattern to make up the warp.
Because the warp is held under high tension during the entire process of weaving and warp yarn must be strong, yarn for warp ends is usually spun and plied fibre. Traditional fibres for warping are wool, linen, alpaca, and silk. With the improvements in spinning technology during the Industrial Revolution, it became possible to make cotton yarn of sufficient strength to be used as the warp in mechanized weaving. Later, artificial or man-made fibres such as nylon or rayon were employed.
While most people are familiar with weft-faced weavings, it is possible to create warp-faced weavings using densely arranged warp threads. In warp-faced weavings, the design for the textile is in the warp, and so all colours must be decided upon and placed during the first part of the weaving process and cannot be changed. Warp-faced weavings are defined by length-wise stripes and vertical designs due to the limitations of color placement. Many South American cultures, including the ancient Incas and Aymaras used a type of warp-faced weaving called Backstrap Weaving, which uses the weight of the weaver’s body to control the tension of the loom.
Something to make you smile😃
Loom banding is a craze currently sweeping across Britain. I didn’t realise how popular it is until my Grandchildren turned up from around the UK with boxes of the darn things! We set up a tutorial on the dining room table so that they could teach the adults how to do it. It was great how seriously they took the teaching. They had obviously thought about it and structured the teaching in a very impressive thought through method. These loom bands are essential coloured or patterned elastic bands. They are either “woven” on the fingers or using a plastic loom. They talked about chains,fishtails and links. They also bought and swapped bands, clips and plastic charms. It certainly improves their eye hand co ordination and gives the adults some very quiet time.
Having all now dispersed around the country to their various homes I am so missing them. However, there are loom bands in the well of my car, down all my seating, in my Hoover and under all the furniture. Fond memories!
I love my Monday Craft Group. It’s such a diverse group of ladies. There are spinners, quilters, sewers, knitters, stitches and those who visit for coffee and chat. Everyone is always so pleasant. We sort out the state of the nation, world politics, village gossip and life in general. We exchange magazines and patterns, recommend books and where the latest bargain is. If someone is stuck with a pattern there is always help at hand.if someone has completed something there is lots of admiration. So if you hear of a similar group go out and join in. Crafters are always such nice people. Honest!
let me know of YOUR favourite craft group.