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June 6, 2016

–and other useful equipment

Velma and I have a craft person’s love of tools

Bryan’s farmhouse is full of them

P1080798looms, of course, always catch my eye

P1090554at the craft market

this beautiful loom that looks more like a piece of furniture

it is only 2 harness (shaft) and quite narrow

the weaver spoke reasonable English but she wasn’t interested in talking to me

so I know nothing about it

P1080975at the Boro Museum (more about it in a future posting)

this old, traditional Izaribata backstrap loom

P1080974I would love one of these – like I need another loom!

P1080797back at Bryan’s, another loom and a spinning wheel

good thing he has a lot of space

weaving requires an abundance of equipment

P1080802in Japan, piles of itomaki

I was going to show you the electric machine (at Kawashima) that winds several of these at one time

but – my old scanner isn’t compatible with my new computer

new technology!!! do I have to throw out a machine that works

and spend money on a new one that has a working life of only a few years?

and you wonder why I prefer looms!

P1080775the simplest tools of all – pins and needles and hands

P1090156these stretcher boards, at Noguchi-san’s, are placed on either end of a length of fabric

P1090235unlike the two-part hinged boards Noguchi-san makes a single board with bent nails


to stretch out the fabric to its full length – for drying or dyeing


and he makes his own wood planes

P1090146 last but not least – do you know what these machines are used for?

P1090232looks dangerous

P1080755and complicated

if you are not exhausted reading this I am writing it

let me know what the mystery machines are.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Deanna Johnson permalink
    July 5, 2017 4:39 pm

    Do you know of any source of plans for the izaribata loom? Your photos are fascinating!


    • July 5, 2017 6:30 pm

      Deanna – don’t know of any plans, can’t be that difficult. There are lots of pictures if you google it. If/when I go back to Japan I’ll try to take more detailed pictures.


  2. bryan permalink
    June 13, 2016 4:06 am

    Jean, the stitching looks amazing on your crest.


    • June 13, 2016 7:04 am

      Bryan – thanks, going to enjoy it as a bag. It would work well as an applique (just thinking).


  3. June 7, 2016 4:53 pm

    I love beautiful tools too! Don’t we all? Too late to get my answer in but I guessed the kumihimo machine! Though I’d rather braid on my marudai myself. I guess if I had to make miles of braid it would be helpful to use a machine to do it. Though I wonder if it can only make one kind of braid?


    • June 7, 2016 5:08 pm

      Louisa – I didn’t see the kumihimo machine in action but the braid on it was very fine, probably used to make many, many metres. Colour changes may be the only way to change the pattern look.


  4. June 7, 2016 9:12 am

    I’m all about the tools, too. I’ve had my eye on the izaribata for many years now and will one day make one…I’m searching for some plans if you know where to find some. More posts on tools, please!


    • June 7, 2016 9:52 am

      Kristin – no idea where to find building plans for an izaribata, I’ve never seen anyone actually weaving on one in Japan. It might be possible to find an old “antique” one but who knows what the price would be. tools show up in many of my posts, did you see sewing sensei holding the material taut with her toe – toe as tool!


      • June 7, 2016 11:05 am

        I think Bryan has built some izaribata, I’ll should ask him. I’m sure I’ve seen pics of him weaving on one (or is that a jibata?) on his blog. I did see the toe as tool! I also use my toes a lot since I work on the floor most of the time.


      • June 7, 2016 11:21 am

        Kristin – think Bryan’s loom is an izaribata and most likely old, he may have re-built it. Not much time for weaving of any kind there right now. Busy, busy, busy!


  5. June 7, 2016 5:52 am

    Wonderful loom pictures. I’m really enjoying being a fly on the wall during your journeys.


  6. June 7, 2016 3:12 am

    Such interesting and varied tools–I’m not sure I understand most of them but I like seeing the variety of looms. That’s an elaborate backstrap loom–not at all like the one I made as a college student a million years ago!


    • June 7, 2016 7:03 am

      Kerry – the izaribata loom, with its rigid frame is more technical than the backstrap loom we think of in the Americas.


  7. vdbolyard permalink
    June 7, 2016 3:11 am

    those looms. sigh.


  8. June 6, 2016 10:11 pm

    Maybe the last picture shows something like a mashine for ‘rope-maling’ (I saw a simular mashine at a craft museum), above it could be a hand operated fan on a stand and the smal wooden tools could be slicers?! I always like your reports and pictures from so far away and weaving is such an amazing work, I would like to learn but here’s no possibility to find a teacher or workshop.
    Thank’s for showing all those amazing places!


    • June 6, 2016 10:35 pm

      Birgit – hello, thank you for leaving a comment. the last picture is for making Japanese woven braid called kumihimo, it is like fine rope and the hand operated fan was used when processing rice. The small wooden tools are for smoothing wood, great guesses. Sorry you don’t have anyone who can teach you to weave. I will visit your blog and enjoy your spinning and dyeing.


      • June 7, 2016 12:37 am

        Aha! It’s always good listening and learning about things we don’t know….one day I’ll try weaving, learning by doing.


      • June 7, 2016 7:05 am

        Birgit – every day there is something new to learn.


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