10 August, 2010

Reading about Sprang Combined with Tablet Weaving

I got to page 169 of Marta Hoffmann's The Warp-Weighted Loom and was interested to run across her diagram and explanation of tablet-woven borders on sprang fabric.

I have not plaited sprang, as of yet, and have done the barest amount of tablet weaving. Knitting still has me occupied, but I hope to do these techniques sometime.

Near the back of Peter Collingwood's book on sprang, he shows how it is possible to get from a sprang frame two pieces of identically-shaped fabric for clothing. Back when I'd seen the diagrams, I'd wondered how the bottoms of the pieces were finished. The bottoms must be secured since sprang comes apart otherwise. With a bag, you are supposed to take the loose strands between the pieces of fabric and knot them into a bottom fringe. To create parts of clothing, these loose strands are cut. A tablet-woven border would secure them in the weft.

I don't think these methods, either creating sprang clothing or weaving the border with tablets, are something I could describe here, but the diagrams make sense if you see them.

Ah, I just went and checked Collingwood's sprang book, as he is thorough in his approach, and sure enough I found a reference there to tablet weaving for sprang borders. Must have missed it when I looked through the book the first time. I didn't read it all the way through: I read until I no longer understood the text and then skipped ahead looking at interesting parts. I had the feeling that I would have to physically do sprang to mentally follow Collingwood's instructions.

His writing reminds me of university lectures I once took from an instructor who spent the first ten minutes of a lesson teaching us a principle and, before we'd really digested that part, spent the rest of the lesson giving us all the ways to break, bend, and vary that principle.

Collingwood's books are wonderfully grounded in particulars, though. I got to flip through a copy of The Maker's Hand: A Close Look at Textile Structures. In it I saw a photo of a Middle Eastern shepherd's slingshot. I grew up on stories of David and Goliath without ever knowing what the slingshot would have looked like.

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