Id request you to first read my post “Weaving a princely textile…” If you’d like to be creating these textiles or even interested in curatorial (analyzing in museum setting), i still think you should take time out and do the following- again, all of this is based on my years of “jumping around” learning various things from various people. I did not go to any university or do anything remotely related to fine arts. But here is what i suggest:
1. Get a university text book ( FABRIC STRUCTURE: BASIC WEAVE DESIGN by MARILYN GOUTMANN- get this from Philadelphia University) and review Plain, Twill and Satin weaves in detail. Study the derivatives of those 3 structures too. You dont need to do the last few pages/chapters) These are the foundation to learning about patterned textiles. You must know how to draft these on paper, even their derivatives… dont skip weft faced satin’s too- learn to draft them quickly! (For more advanced drafting on basic plains/twills/satins (weft faced satins etc, satin shifts etc)- refer to Oelsner’s A Handbook of Weaves- again only do pages related to those 3 weaves- you can omit the fancy twill patterns at this stage- you can download the book here : http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/books.html ) This is a free resource for downloading old weaving/textile books. BTW: OLD WEAVING BOOKS ARE FABULOUS – MUCH BETTER IN EXPLAINING CONCEPTS THAN ARE THE NEW ONES – thats what i think at least.
2. Try getting access to a local weaving studio and insist on following the above mentioned curriculum. You need to weave those 3 weave structures – basics from Goutmann and more advanced from Oelsner on looms now. When i started, my weaving teacher made me do an overshot ish project as my 1st and the draft was made on the computer! It was a big mistake, as i was not a recreational weaver doing this to be part of a social group. Insist that youre doing this as a means to an end and not for “fun projects”. At the studio, start with either a 4 shaft or 8 shaft table loom and then move to 4 or 8 shaft floor loom.On a floor loom, you will get introduced to using treadles (with your feet) which table looms dont have. Its just good to get the rhythm. Execute only the structures that i mentioned above on these looms, looking at those books. And please insist to setup the loom yourself- its a backbreaking job, esp if you make mistakes but it increases comprehension & gets you to think like a weaver!
DO NOT USE A DIGITAL LOOM FOR ANY OF THIS! YOUR PURPOSE AT THIS POINT IS TO START GETTING ACCLIMATIZED TO WEAVING- USE YOUR BRAIN – DO NOT LET THE COMPUTER DO THIS FOR YOU- IT WILL BE EASIER TO UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEX STRUCTURES ONCE YOU GET AN INTUITIVE UNDERSTANDING OF HAND WEAVING BASIC STRUCTURES!
This will give you a basic understanding of weaving.
3. Now look at the CIETA methodology and pay special attention to the Satins- they have something known as decochment and interruption. Understand how to draft a satin if someone uses either of those 2 terms. Youve already reviewed this in Oelsner by now but still, try getting used to what those terms refer to. John Becker’s Pattern & Loom has these drafted in the chapter on Damasks. Download the book ( http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/books.html ) just to look at the diagrams of the Satins in the damask chapter – pls dont read the Damask chapter at this stage.
All of this is VERY important- to analyze fabrics at museums or to get into weaving historic structures. Especially if youre interested in European textiles and/or live in the western part of the world, all the curators use the CIETA methodology. In the end if youre making elaborate textiles, youll stop caring for terminology but for now, just follow it !
Once done, you are in a MUCH BETTER position to analyze historic patterned weave STRUCTURES or getting into jacquard/ draw loom weaving- but before getting access to Jacq loom or Draw loom, you can still study structure! My next post will be on studying Structure and looms used for patterned cloth: Drawlooms or Jacq Looms.
I wish someone had mentioned all of these points to me when i started as i would have saved myself a lot of suspense in figuring things out. But when i was surrounded by hobbyist weavers in Boston, no one did or remotely knew anything about the genre of princely textiles. Also 1 more thing: I cannot emphasize this more: try seeing as many textiles as you possibly can in museum collections… its helped me tremendously!
Watch out for Part 2 now!