Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Making Woven Marks

The other day I was trying to make a row of tiny dots in my tapestry, but they looked more like dashes – you know, kind of long and skinny instead of short and round.

So I thought, I’ll just wrap the weft around the warp backwards, and the next thing I knew, I was doing backwards soumak. Non-locking soumak in case you’re an expert! I think it would be hard to do the locking version backwards.

I felt like I’d reinvented the wheel!

It’s easy. You just carry your weft around the back and pop it up just PAST the warp you want to cover, then loop it back over and continue on your way. It makes more of a dot than if you just weave. In this case, I was using one strand of Paternayan Persian, with 2 strands of black sewing thread, so you you mainly see very thin black lines.

IMG_1943I’ll have to try it with a solid black.

Here it’s just the small dot in the middle.

For more information about soumak see page 184 of Peter Collingwood’s amazing book “The Techniques of Rug Weaving.”


Jennifer said...

Very cool - I love when an experiment works out!

K Spoering said...

Is this more chaos you are creating?

Jan said...

Well, it seems like I'm always creating chaos, but the answer is YES, this is Chaotic Fragments: Part 3. I really like the way it's turning out so far.

Unknown said...

Jan I have a lot of expanded information on soumack and its variations in my book Line in Tapestry. It's one of my favourite techniques. In fact I teach classes in the technique. I also use the technique a lot in my tapestries.