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Weaving Workshop with Indigo Yarns and Fabrics

I ran an easy weaving workshop for beginners last week for a group of 12 people.

The session was for 2 hours and it was just enough time to make these lovely tapestries.

They can be used as coasters or just general decoration!

I used all natural fibres : white wool, dyed cotton. We also ripped or cut up leftovers from various of my projects to make strips that can be woven in. you can see little shibori patterns poking out here and there.

Please contact me if you are interested in this workshop. It is much easier to transport to faraway places than a full-on dyeing workshop.  For dyeing workshops we need a lot of water and make some mess, also the vats of indigo don’t seem to take well to being shaken up on the journey.

If you want to dye with us the best bet is visit our shop from this spring. Its in Sumoto, Awaji Island and accessible by public transport! Awaji Island is in Hyogo prefecture, Japan, close to Kobe and Osaka.

I found these handy square paper plates which are very handy but you can also use round plates.

The first step is to cut about 14 snips into the rim of the plate.
Then you can weave your warp (up-down yarn) back and forth between the snips, being careful to keep and even tension. This time we used white wool for our warp.

I think they look good still on the plate, but they can also be taken off.

Look at this one below, I love how the weaver shows us the bits of shibori (tiedye) on the scraps of fabric they used.

Using a limited palette of shade of blue and white make it really fun to just simply play with contrast and nuance. I love all colours and throwing too much colour into anything but actually working only in blue and white really frees me up.

This tapestry below is mostly weft-faced. That means you can mostly see the weft (yarns going left to right) and not the warp. However, where the weaver used a thick band of dark fabric you can see flashes of bright white warp and I think its really effective and makes great impact.

I also like this looser style!

To finish the weaving we do a kind of back-stitch with the remaining weft thread. That helps keep the weaving in place and stops it all from unravelling! We use the large-eyed fat, blunt kind of needles that you use to conceal loose threads in knitting.

Deep concentration! And plenty of scissors. We us hard wooden or cardboard shuttles to weave our weft yarns. The benefit of that is you can push down your work as you go with the hard edge, so its multi-functional.