Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Dillington Hall

I am at Dillington Hall for a few days, bookbinding. They have tools here that I do not own, most importantly a plow for cutting the edges. The tutor is Angela Sutton. So I have come with three projects to deal with. What I have done so far is to sew a book which arrived in printers sheets and to plow all three edge. Then I made up endpapers which are being pressed over night. Today I shall attach them and then go on to the second project which was originally to makes a small slipcase for a set of pamphlets on gardening but I discovered interesting info about the pamphlets. I acquired from the books of a relative who died recently. There are 12 and all in the same format. Four inches square, stapled on the spine (which had gone rusty and stained the pages, Mr Cuthberts Herbaceous Borders is a typical title. They are priced at 9 pence each. On looking up the web, I found they were published in 1953 and are sold for about ten pounds each these days. Well I like them and have removed the staples and resend some on them. The first job today is to finish the sewing and then start on the slipcase.

The other students are into gilded lettering on leather. Oh well I shall love my books just as much.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The book

For the last few years (I think I started in 2015) I have been working on a book of drafts assembled in 1775 by a Lancashire weaver named Jeremiah Fielding. Last Saturday I took delivery of over 150 copies of  'The Draughts by Jeremiah Fielding'. It is intended as a work book for weavers. There are 59 drafts but some are duplications and one or two have the draft in a mess. But over 50 remain. Of course, the drafts are in 1775 notation which is pretty incomprehensible to modern weavers. So I set to and translated every one into modern notation. There are introductory  sections on the finding of the notebook and the history of the cotton industry at that time but the heart of the book are the drafts. I persuade weavers of my Guild to do one or two or even more samples from the book. and they helped gallantly. Although there were at least two aghast weavers  saying indignantly 'This is double cloth'. A bit of research showed that the poor of 1775 kept themselves warm in winter by creating pockets stuffed with fleece. Because of his own samples, we realised that every one was woven in ecru cotton which shows up the texture nicely. Although some drafts have 8 to 11 shafts and those are patterned. So all the samples were woven in ecru cotton. The book is spiral bound to make the drafts easier to use.

There are 140 teeny samples in the original but they show off dyeing and wood block printing and nowhere are they traceable to a specific draft. The book has taken a long time and I reckon at least 30 Guild members helped in one way or another.

A flyer showing the front cover and the three parts of a weave called Elliot's Cord. Some of the weaves have names which I could trace and some appear nowhere on the web.

We ended up by having more data than we wanted to include and intend to publish that data on a website in the next few months as downloadable files. Two topics which will be dealt with are Jeremiah's house which still exists and we have photos and data! The other one is the usefulness  of the drafts today. Several weavers were so taken with a sample (Myself included) that some lovely weaves have appeared at the Guild's Show and Tell. When everyone has finished this project we will publish them all.

Two photos of a weave using Jeremiah's draft and space dyed tencel.

Any one wanting to buy a copy, it with cost £12.50 plus P&P. Send me a pm.


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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.