Saturday, 17 April 2010

Interesting Book

Last Wednesday afternoon was spent in Ledbury which is about 10 miles away from Malvern and in Herefordshire.  Very agricultural and quite different from Malvern. It is much smaller than Malvern but it has five high class butchers on the  main street not to mention several green grocers and some good delis. Count in a shop selling a huge range of linen by the metre, a Scandavian shop, several high class dress shops and you have a bustling main street dominated by a 16th century black-and-white market hall. They even have a gunsmith and a shop selling models like radio-operated helicopters three foot long.

There is a secondhand bookshop which has a very large range of books on crafts. I acquired two books there last Wednesday. One is volume 2 of a series on textile museums in the UK - published in 1976. Very useful and interesting. The other is  'A Fashion for Extravagance', by Sara Bowman (ISBN 0 7135 2559 2) and published in 1985 which was just as colour photos in books had become good  and cheap to print. It deals with Art Deco fashion and  is stunning. I have several books on Art Deco and you tend to see the same items photographed again and again. Not with this book. I have never seen any of the photos before. It is mostly concerned with embellishment, embroidery and so on. There are double page spreads where the original design notebooks are shown along side sample embroideries and the final dress. Inspirational! I have already done a draft of a possible silk fabric based on black diamonds with silver centres. And there is a design of pink and silver feathers which I can see as a draft.

The problem that I have is that I can think of workable projects faster than I can carry them out! I can see at least three projects out of this book. I once designed an Art Deco fabric to use as curtains. It was rectangles of different greens and silver all done with double weave and warp and weft interchange. But that never got beyond a draft. I did decide I would have to dye all the yarn and curtains use a lot of yarn so I got discouraged

Warping up the fan reed is slow and I need to do it in the day time in order to have a really good light. The current weaving project list reads

- weave fan reed piece
- warp up Voyager with yarn for Margaret Roach Wheeler's course in May. She says 2 or 3 yards. I intend to put on 5 yards and get a top out of it.
- warp up Megado with tencel and weave.
- dye 2-ply wool in yellow/ochre to use as weft for devore scarf. This cannot be done until I have completed Margaret's course and finished off that weaving on the Voyager.

This will take me 2 months so when do I do the Art Deco stuff not to mention my caladium leaves.  I am still working on the draft for these. But if I get it to work to my liking, I can see it going straight to the top of the project list!


  1. Did you see on the HGA news that they are advertising Anne Fields Devore book

  2. I did not know she had written that! Publication date was March 2010. Anyway I found an Amazon source where it was priced at £13.96 - and ordered it. Very timely I have a devore project on hand and even have the yarn selected and laid out ready for a warp.



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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.