Weaving your own fabric offers the absolute best of handmade. Elizabeth Bryan has the opportunity to customize the colour, pattern and style of each hand made textile.
How is it done?
Weaving is the process of making cloth from yarn. Yarns are chosen for a variety of reasons but I choose mine based on years of experience. I know how I want a piece to feel, to drape and to handle while I am weaving it. Initially I choose my colours. I have quite a “stash” of yarns in different weights and colours. I prefer natural fibres simply because I like the way they weave and wash up afterwards. I generally use cotton but also silk and very occasionally wool and specialty yarns such as Alpaca or Cashmere. But like any good stash I usually then have to supplement with something new that I buy or hand dye.
Once the colours and yarns are chosen, I then settle on a design and the work of setting up the looms begins. I must determine how many threads I require at what length and measure them out using a warping mill or a warping board. Then these are threaded through the reed of the loom and then each thread is inserted through a heddle – a large metal eye. The threads are then tied onto the back beam and wound onto the loom. One the threads are then tied to the front of the loom I can begin weaving. As with many things the setup takes more time though the weaving is also fairly slow.
When I have completed an item I must finish the edges and wash, dry and iron pieces such as scarves and towels. If I have made a length of fabric, or yardage, it is then turned into something else such as a purse or a jacket.