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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Greetings All-
I thought I'd share the recent fun I had learning to weave on a backstrap loom at Studio Naenna. I'll spare you all the details here, but will direct those interested to my blog where I've described it step by step, along with photos: http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/.

It was truly eye-opening and provided me with new insights into the weaving process- not just on backstrap looms, but on various types. It's kind of like learning to photograph using a view camera as the first means: learning the basic principles as well as some of the quirks, then moving on to other means of achieving similar, but different, ends.


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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
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Location: Japan
Susan, Heard you were having connection problems but you seem to be back up and running and we are all greatful for your warped blog! I found it educational and especially interesting that you warped your loom in a sideways, verticle position. Don't think I have ever seen that before.
In Indonesia they do it horozontally with the ball of warp thread in a coconut bowl, which is passed between two people, alternately over and under the opposite ends of a warping frame. I was watching them warp threads that had preivously been dyed using the warp ikat dyeing technique. As opposed to a continuous, solid color thread, a continuous ikat dyed thread must be warped at exactly the same length and in exactly the same order as it was on the tieing frame, when it was bound and then dyed. Extreme care must be taken during the warping to ensure that the color coded patterns on the thread appear clearly.
When the slow, laborious task of warping is finally finished, the patterns are clearly visible in the warp thread even though cloth construction (weaving) has yet to begin. The passing of a solid color weft, through the warp thread carrying the predyed patterns (normally a crammed, warp faced, plain weave) does not create or alter the predyed patterns, which are already plainly visible in the warp thread.
A weft must be passed through the warp in order to construct fabric (produce cloth). In the case of a warp faced cram weave, usually used with warp ikat dyed patterns, the weft is all but invisible.
In light of the above, I must admit that I get warped when I see statements like "The ikat weaving technique" or "The ikat woven textiles of Indonesia". I feel that such statements confuse the novice and countless are the times that I have tried to explain the ikat DYEING technique to someone who responds with "But it's woven isn't it?".
Your blog on weaving with the backstrap loom, accompanied by the wonderful photos, gave us all a better understanding of the labor and skills required to dye and construct (weave) a cloth, even a simple cloth, with only multi-colored stripes. I am sure it increased the understanding and appreciation of the wonderful textiles so generously shared on this site.
Good to have you back and keep it coming! MAC


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thanks for your kind and illuminating comments MAC. This, too, is warp-faced weaving and virtually no weft shows in the textile. As for your comparison with the weaving of ikat-dyed textiles, I thank you for the interesting description and for helping us understand that ikat is a dyeing technique, and not really a weaving technique. I confess that I've been guilty of calling it a weaving technique and will be more cognizant of that now.

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: Susan's textile
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:31 am 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
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Susan, I guess you have finished your cloth already. Is there a photo of the finished product on your blog? I would like to see it. What do you plan to use it for?How long did it take from start to finish? Did the weaving of this cloth inspire you to perhaps try further weaving projects? How about an ikat dyed textile with more of your great photos of the production process? Does Studio Naenna offer courses in the production of ikat dyed textiles? Thanks again for the interesting and informative blog. Best Regards, MAC


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
MAC- I'm embarrassed to say that I've not finished it... there just hasn't been time lately. It will just be a striped runner that I will probably not want to show off.

Studio Naenna does do ikat dyeing at their location in Chiang Khian in Chiang Mai, with the weaving done further south where their weavers live. At this time, I don't think they offer classes in this, but if someone were interested, they could inquire and it could possibly be arranged.

On a recent visit to their weavers I learned more about what they are doing and just how special it is... over twenty years ago Patricia brought weavers and ikat dyers here from Isaan (NE Thailand) to execute her designs in silk. These techniques were not being used in this area- only warp ikat was done, and most of that was by the Karen. Her master weaver is from the Thai province of Surin, where many of the people originated in Cambodia and are Khmer (master ikat producers). The pieces Studio Naenna is producing are a unique blend of modern design using the traditional techniques of NE Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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