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a naked loom and the wonder of wild silk

May 18, 2023

it only took 2 1/2 years but this pandemic warp is finished

4 small hand towels and a piece at the end for a small zipper bag (when I get a zipper)

the pattern is a Summer and Winter variation – the back and front are a little different

and now for a new warp – odds and ends of fine blues from the stash

weaving a piece of fabric to include in the boro stitching

when you’ve been weaving for 40++ years there are a lot of odds and ends and not so many years to use them up

time to get on with it

 Karen Selk,  author of In Search of Wild Silk was the guest speaker at the Victoria Handweaver’s and Spinner’s Guild

what a wonderful story she has to tell of experiences in India over a 30 year period

I don’t have the words to describe the wonderful variety of wild silks she has to display – overwhelming

muga – eri – tasar

fabrics that look so simple and tell the story of the village people who have worked so hard to produce amazing yarns and fabrics

thank you Karen for telling their story

you have to click on this piece to see how exquisite it is – tiny stitches

for show and tell I took some of my silk spinning

on the right are a Mother’s Day present from a very savvy daughter-in-law

50 gms. each of tussah and peduncle tussah (the dark one) and a cocoon and stem

I was going to warp the loom to weave silk but now will wait until I spin that dark fibre

spinning a fine two ply there is enough fibre to keep me going for the rest of the year



14 Comments leave one →
  1. Going Batty in Wales permalink
    May 21, 2023 1:48 am

    I think I should add weaving to the list of things to try!


    • May 21, 2023 10:59 am

      Sue – Why? You need a loom and even a small table loom takes up space and then you need bobbins and shuttles and a bobbin winder – yes – you can use a stick shuttle but it is slow and awkward – not a lot of fun. What do you want to weave? You need yarn and knitting yarn doesn’t really work unless you use it for weft in scarves. Getting started it helps to have a good teacher, it can be frustrating and takes time and dedication to become reasonably proficient. Again, I ask why? Sorry, but I taught weaving to the handicapped for 12 years and then beginning weaving in my studio for 8 years before Covid. I know the challenges.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. May 20, 2023 2:39 pm

    I really appreciate your dedication to No Waste Weaving, using up every last bit on something beautiful or useful. It’s such an important skill to preserve.


    • May 21, 2023 11:13 am

      Kate – well, we can’t continue the wasteful way we have been going. As textile people we need to be aware of what/where the fibre comes from, the dyes that are used, the industrial production and recycling of vast quantities of waste products. It simply can’t continue.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. May 18, 2023 4:13 pm

    Having being born in India and of Anglo Indian heritage I know how large cottage industry is in India. It’s mind boggling how exquisite hand work can be.
    Thank you for sharing 🤍🙏


    • May 19, 2023 10:58 am

      Vera – every page in the book is filled with colour pictures of the people and the work, it is wonderful. There is a emphasis on the woman and how support, training and equipment has changed their lives, their communities and the children. A wonderful read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 19, 2023 4:46 pm

        I used to teach sewing basics to ladies from the village close to Kolkata. Loreto House had a vocational section where I got send to teach. I had to translate all my notes and drawings into Hindi & Bengali and instruct in both languages as well. English being my first language and the others being my second and third language… it was a challenge! But I relished it and enjoyed every minute 🤗


      • May 20, 2023 10:46 am

        Vera – that is amazing, teaching in 3 languages must be stressful and exhausting. What has kept me interested in textiles/fibre for many years is the connections to cultures, people and histories. The work is so similar in many ways and yet so diverse, I find it fascinating. Thank you for sharing your experience.

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 20, 2023 2:55 pm

        Thank you 😊
        And yes it is amazing how threads of all kinds hold so much history


      • May 21, 2023 11:01 am

        Vera – …and culture and lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. May 18, 2023 1:43 pm

    I love weaving with odds and ends! I learned so much about weaving from Handwoven magazine, and my favorite articles were always the ones about using up odds and ends in stripes, etc. It is so satisfying to me to use something up. 🙂


    • May 19, 2023 11:03 am

      Gwen – there is so much waste in the fibre/textile world that I try not to be a part of it. It gives me pleasure when I can find creative ways to reduce my scraps.


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