Posted by: lavernewaddington | March 13, 2015

Backstrap Weaving – Tying Up Loose Ends

It will be just a short post this week as I tie up loose ends on projects and get ready to travel.

unfinushed projects backstrap weavingThere are buttons to be sewn on cuffs, warp-ends to be braided on key fobs, books to be glued and weaving to be finished. I need to break down the two extra weaving stations that sprouted and grew during this latest homestay of mine…the ones in the living room and kitchen… which were needed for keeping up with  a weave-along while I worked on my usual large projects in the bedroom. I must clear away the various project piles with their balls of yarn, books with colored fingers of protruding Post-it notes, sketches and pattern charts so that all can be covered and kept dust-free in my absence.

The first thing I attacked was the journal-cover project. Once the weaving was done, the scary part, which involved gluing the cloth to the book covers, had to be faced. Fortunately, I had one rejected book cover piece which served as test fabric for the glue. You can see the rejected piece in the upper corner of the picture above. Would the glue soak through the cloth and appear as an ugly stain on the upper face? It didn’t! Now I can add a zipper to that test piece and turn it into a little pouch.

inside cvers of journals with backstrap weavingYou can see how I turned the end of the weaving over to the inside of the covers. The piece of cloth in the picture is still on the metal rod which I used to create a selvedge. I glued the fabric there and then used colored paper to completely cover the inside. Precisely positioning that colored paper while using a contact glue was probably the hardest part of the whole process. I also used a line of glue along the point where the book cover bends to open.

initials woven into spine of journalsI bought another journal and made a fourth cover. You can see the recipients’ initials on the spines. It is fun discovering that you can make recognizable letters with so few threads in such little space.

Here’s the fourth one set up and ready to go. I love seeing a fresh warp like this stretched out in front of me.

backstrap loom with two shed set up and coil rodI used a motif inspired by Guaraní textiles with snakes and a star…

backstrap weaving woven journal coversThen I settled into finishing the third panel in the Bird series with its ikat bird shapes filled in with three-color pebble weave. That was followed by a rather tedious session of sewing black on black as I lined the irregular edges of the ikat shapes with cross-knit looping…

ikat bird shapes filled with pick-upThese panels really fall into the category of ”samples” as I used them to learn much about tying warps for ikat. In the first panel, the dye leaked a lot under the ties, staining the threads within, which gave a surprisingly attractive softened look to the motif, especially around the edges, once the pick-up patterning had been finished. In the third panel, my tying skills had improved and the ikat shape had crisp, sharp outlines with the white threads within the ties completely untouched by dye. The bird shape in the third panel is brilliantly white as a result and leaves me wondering in the end which ”look” I actually prefer.

ikat bird shapes filled with pebble weave backstrap weavingWth this experience behind me, I shall have a lot of time in my travels to ponder the next ikat project that I want to start on my return. The aim has always been to create flowing curved shapes in ikat rather than the rigid block-like ones in the Bird samples. I want to fill beautiful curved shapes with pick-up patterns. I have two such shapes in mind and I will, no doubt, stumble across something while I am away that will inspire a third.

As you can see, the three panels above are still on their looms. So, I am not completely finished with this project. I have yet to decide how exactly I want to finish them in terms of weft twining, fringe or braids. Should I introduce some red in the first two panels? I will launch myself into that when I return.









  1. Very beautiful!

  2. Your covered books look so lovely all lined up together! I would be reluctant to separate them. Fantastic!

  3. Laverne, gracias por compartir tan bellos trabajos. Sos inspiradora de nuevos proyectos y dan ganas de largar todo y sentarse ya a tejer. Saludos desde Córdoba, Arg

  4. You are amazing!

  5. All of it beautiful, Laverne – best wishes on safe journeying 🙂

  6. How do you use the steel wire in the warp to have a clean finish edge?

    • If you look back in previous posts written about the Key Fob WAL and also at the FAQ about third selvedges, you will see the answer to this question in pictures and text.

  7. Hermosos trabajos!!! te felicito. Un saludo desde San Martín de los Andes, Argentina

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