August 03, 2009

Reading The Art of the Loom

Happy B.C. Day!

Ann Hecht's The Art of the Loom: Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing Across the World contained more information about spinning than I expected.

I would certainly quit saying rakestraw spinner and say maguey spinner as in Hecht's book instead, if only I knew how to pronounce the word.

There are many photos in the book from Nepal, Peru, the American Southwest, and Nigeria that show outdoor looms that look like permanent setups, not something you'd fold up and bring inside. I've come to the conclusion that low rainfall is an asset for weavers. This is a terrible realization for someone like me who comes from a temperate rain forest dripping with drizzle and moss.

Most of the examples of world culture textiles I had seen before. A large amount of the weaving information was more advanced than I want to be at this point, so I glossed over it and caught a small idea about how and why these distinctive textiles are the way they are.

It was interesting to read about Middle Eastern tent making. The photo on page 62 shows an amazing ground loom in Israel that stretches away into the distance. There is thick shaggy yarn in natural colours, pegs, and weavers beams propped up on seriously solid rocks. The cloth beam sits right on the dirt.

1 Samuel 17:7 compares Goliath's (as in David and Goliath) spear shaft to a weaver's beam to describe how much larger this spear was than ordinary. Looking at Hecht's photo, I finally understand the sense of scale.
Paul went to see them [Aquila and Priscilla], and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
Acts 18:2b,3 NIV

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