December 18, 2012

Beyond Weaving

I skimmed Marcia Chamberlain and Candace Crockett's Beyond Weaving (New York: Watson-Guptill, 1974).  I bypassed the recommendations to spin greasy wool with a three-ounce drop spindle, and concentrated on chapter seven, "Braiding and Plaiting," which included språng.

I would be interested to know why S twist interlinking, and S twist only, sprang is shown, if this was done historically or what the rationale is.  Same for why the Hopi wedding sash is described as a distinct thing and not språng, where other authors treat it as interlinked språng.

I was pleased that specifications are given for the sash and the frame:
The traditional Hopi sash is made of two-ply white handspun cotton, braided into a strip from 8" to 10" wide and from 8 to 10 feet long, including a long twisted fringe at each end.  (p. 139) 
In the traditional Hopi method, the top bar of the stretched warp is anchored to the wall of the house or kiva and the other bar to a heavy stone, so the warp is stretched horizontally just above the floor.  The braid is worked with the weaver or braider sitting parallel to the bar.  The sticks are inserted at the end where he is working, brought toward the body and then pushed away.  After a number of sticks have been inserted they are worked all the way around the warp, over and around the other anchor bar and down the underneath side, so the interlinking butts up with the top set of interlinked threads.  As braiding continues the entire warp is periodically shifted to move the interlinked fabric to the bottom so the braider does not have stretch too far or move out of position.  Eventually the warp threads are cut in the center, forming a long braided sash with fringe at each end.  There is a kind of seam at the sash center where the two parts of the braid meet, but no separate center cord is worked across.  (p. 142)

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