Spiraling Notions

Introduction to Weaving

Title: Introduction to Weaving
Instructor: Deb Chandler

I got a loom for the holidays and found myself ordering this DVD. It should be noted that this DVD is a conversion from a 1980’s VHS video course. Much of the styles are obviously dated but the overall information is still applicable and probably will be for many more generations.

While this is considered an instructional DVD you will not walk away learning how to actually weave on any specific loom. I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the extent of the content, however, I also understand the limitations of a general weaving DVD that covers all looms and weaving as a whole. There are many different looms, all of which have their own specific ways of setting up and producing textiles. I would like to have seen more information and demonstrations on the tools as well as information on actually warping a loom showing different examples of tying on.

Key things I found useful as a new weaver: Description of the tools and their uses. Measuring on the warping board and securing it for use on the loom. Also warp and weft calculation made the video worth it and was very helpful.

Pros: Foundation information such as what woven fabric using several examples of different textiles that can be made. Tools needed to create a woven fabric and how to use a few tools. Excellent information on warp/weft estimates and how to create a warp - for any loom - using a warping board.

Cons: Not enough information, to general to go into detail on anything really specific. Not a lot of time spent on tools or demonstrations on using them. No information on yarn gauges or the weight system used in weaving. No real explanation of weaving vocabulary. The only examples of weaving are performed on the 4 harness floor loom. It seems, to me, that the instructor favors it and gives it the most face time while neglecting the others.

Overall Impression: It was interesting to see the different looms and tools but most content is so generalized it lacks real useful information for a new weaver with the exception of the calculations and warping board segment. This section is excellent but out of keeping with the generalization in the rest of the video. I would like to have seen the video swing to total generalization or over to beginner techniques that are applicable to any loom and have more information based the choice. I bought it thinking it would bridge the gap between some other videos and found it was not so. This would be excellent for someone who has no prior knowledge of weaving.
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