Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inkle Loom Weaving workshop

This past weekend, the Riverbend Fiber Arts Guild members demonstrated spinning and weaving at the Ketner's Mill Fair, an annual country craft and art fair in Whitwell, Tennessee. One of the weaving techniques demonstrated was Inkle Loom weaving, and I got to talk with weaver extraordinaire, Mary Lou Scohier, for a step-by-step view of dressing and weaving on this type of loom.

The Inkle Loom is a classic loom for beginners because of its simplicity and ease of use. The tabletop loom Mary Lou used for the demo was small, compact and very portable but she indicated Inkle looms come in various sizes. She has a larger, floor loom at home. Inkle weaving dates back thousands of years and was introduced in the United States in the 1930s. The narrow format of Inkle weaving lends itself to such things as belts, bands, straps, trims, ribbons, garment decorations and accessories. Creativity abounds with the use of color and pattern. 

Worsted weight yarn was used for the warp and weft threads on Mary Lou's piece, but any weight of thread, yarn or string could be used. As an art quilter who creates wearables, this opened up my mind to all kinds of possibilities!

If this technique piques your creative curiosity, the Riverbend Fiber Arts Guild is hosting an Inkle Loom workshop November 14-15. The instructor, Ann Mullican, is a well-known weaver and teacher in the weaving community. Workshop participants (I'll be one of them!) will learn the weaving technique by making a "Woven Doll with Character." Details for the workshop are on the guild's web site. Come and join the guild for a fun weekend of Inkle weaving.

Create your own Inkle Loom Doll with Character!
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