Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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saving-10-years
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Location: Warwickshire, UK

Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by saving-10-years »

I have spotted a few fibre artists in here and recently answered a question about fleece washing in @Landerdros' thread on Homesteading.
viewtopic.php?p=221799#p221799

@reepicheep suggested I set up a thread on fiber arts (which being from UK I spell as fibre arts). She is doing some card weaving.
So here is a thread for those who work with yarn, either making it, using it, or both. Whether its animal, vegetable or mineral.
Come along and share some skills here. Or ask questions.

What could be more EREesque than knowing how to make your own clothing/soft furnishings in a frugal and climate friendly way?

jacob
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by jacob »

I made a peg loom (about 30cm wide) a while ago. Any suggestions for something more interesting to make than scarves or tiny rugs?

guitarplayer
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by guitarplayer »

@jacob, we have a weavery in the community, I am going to ask the weaver.

EDIT: she said 'all I can think of are table mats and bags. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.'
Last edited by guitarplayer on Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by Dream of Freedom »

So if you've never picked up yarn in your life where do you start?

saving-10-years
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by saving-10-years »

@Jacob, its not a loom that I have ever really used but I know the basic principles. Similar to the ideas for using woven narrow bands as more than just narrow bands the strength is that you can make any length of band on a peg/band loom and combine them using modular designs. So by sewing (with yarn) you can make wider strips to create say a large bag (I have a loosely woven large wool bag beside the wood-burner into which we push paper destined to help light it (keeps unsightly mess out of the way). Thinking of how bulky peg loom weaving can be you _could_ make outer clothing (it would be heavy and the weaving style would not make cutting shapes easy, so a boxy design) or you could 'clothe' furniture - for example cover chair seats, make cushion covers or make (bulky) clothing. You would need reasonably tight and consistent selvedges. And if you wanted to make (say) a hammock you would a need strong (maybe a doubled up) warp.

Some people in the guild use fleece or roving (so unspun wool) to weave on a peg loom with. Super-bulky but - if the warp is also non-superwash wool and can felt you could create felted strips from pegloom weaving. If its felted you _can_ cut shapes into it, for example to make slippers or such. Most fibre arts people would be more likely to crochet or knit if they wanted curved shapes, but its possible. Might be quite tedious to weave this using a peg loom, but its possible. (You could use fabric strips or maybe grasses on a pegloom but it will be relatively inflexible to weave with and probably really difficult to control).

Tried to find images of items such as I mention made using a peg-loom but most people would use a different loom for big projects. The warp as you know will be quite widely spaced on a pegloom. But you can see some of the design possibilities for a loom that weaves narrow widths here. https://handwovenmagazine.com/designing-garments-loom/

saving-10-years
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by saving-10-years »

@Jacob - I know people who have made fleece seat pads and even a camping mattress to put on a camp bed using a Brinkley loom (another simple style loom with relatively widely spaced warps). They did this using washed fleece. It becomes felted over time. Very insulating and comfortable.

saving-10-years
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by saving-10-years »

@dreamoffreedom Where to start? Well it really depends what you want to make (destination) and location (do you need portability, small size etc). If you have never used yarn before and like something easy to carry and fiddle with (perfect for journeys) I would suggest you might look at braiding. There is a rich history to braiding (e.g. lucet braiding is associated with the Vikings). You are basically making a length of strong cord with some give in it. I once made an entire washing line when staying in a remote Portuguese cottage where I found myself in need of one. It may still be there. If you really like braiding then you can wander further into the very very complicated braiding that is associated with Japan. Search on Marudai + Samuri or look at Takadai for more complex stuff. You can buy foam kumihimo braiding discs (simpler form of braiding aparatus) at many crafts stores but ERErs will quickly spot that this type of braiding disk can be a simply made strong card disk with notches and a hole in the middle.

If your destination is garments then crochet is a good place to start (saying this as weilding one stick always seemed easier to me than dealing with 2+ sticks - aka knitting). Just have a look at some videos online, or ask someone who knows how. I bet any bloke wanting to join a knitting group would find women happy to teach the basics. Yarn and crochet/knitting needles can be obtained very cheaply from charity shops or try a wool store and ask them for wool (you may find there is no 100% wool in the place, only synthetics). You can taken some knitted items apart to salvage wool if you want to be hardcore - I've done this for fibre that is really special but generally would not (tedious). But isn't it nice to know that the sheep grows wool for its use, we take it and use it and can recycle it by rotting it down but also by disassembling it and making it into another thing entirely.

Once you have used yarn and think you may like to make it yourself you can think about spinning. I've seen a lovely shawl made by a guy who picked bits of fleece off hedgerows in Wales and the used a drop spindle to spin it on. A drop spindle is simple enough to make but in his case he used a potato stuck through with a knitting needle. I was so impressed.

saving-10-years
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by saving-10-years »

Information especially for those with interests in woodworking... FREE online 'woodturners' apprentice' course offered by Bobbin Boy (husband and wife team of very skilled woodturner and his Fiber Artist and journeyman woodturner wife Millissa Ellison Dewey). This is best explained in parts of Millissa's Facebook page annoucing it. Note that it also refers to another set of videos on making chess sets (also free).
We have taken on another woodturning apprentice, who is in Paris, France, whilst we are in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Hence we will be making a lot of videos...

We always teach our apprentices for free and generally speaking are happy to bring along new woodturners. In this era of strife and germs, we wanted to do something a little more.

So, we are going to place all of the apprentice-teaching videos on YouTube. For free. For you.

Our brand new YouTube channel! www.youtube.com/channel/UCIf7Cp2NJ-DxNAxB5JIP-BQ/about

Meanwhile, we have another video series on making chess sets and handtools here, http://www.chessspy.com/pages/Make%20a% ... an%20Dewey (I have added this URL as the one in the message was truncated by FB, this one should work).

This will give you an idea of how we work, plus making a chess set is often the desired goal of a new woodturner. More importantly, learning to do so teaches many of the wood-based skills that a new turner needs to know.

We will branch into metal and bone work with the new series, along with trade-specific information such as making spinning wheel parts from flyers to bobbins to tension screws.

We will also address stand-alone projects, from orifice hooks, to drop spindles, to tapestry bobbins...

Please remember: We will *not* be answering any questions via any medium regarding this teaching material. None.

That makes it easy: don't ask because we don't have time to answer. However, the videos will be as thorough as we can make them and should provide you with a great deal of information about the woodturning trade and how we make a living.

Also please remember that we assume no liability for you and your safety in any way. We are showing how WE do our work, not how you should do yours.

We will produce a list of basic equipment that will look something like this: ... startup costs are around $300-400.
I have had no contact with BB but have had really helpful expert advice from Milissa in the past. They know their stuff. The Bobbin Boy Resources page is full of information on how to use as well as make many fibre arty tools. (URL is explained because Alan is a repairer of chess sets). http://www.chessspy.com/BOBBIN-BOY/BB-resources.htm

The teaching will be on a YouTube channel and cover basic workshop setup, then onward to bobbins, flyers, drop spindles...  

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIf7Cp ... P-BQ/about

I've noticed that those who work with wood are particularly useful partners to those who need tools mending, bobbins making or looms constructing. Its common to find that someone married to a fibre artist started off by doing running repairs and ends up making stuff for the wider community, inventing new tools for fibre artistry and eventually generating a decent side income from this.

EDIT: Hm. Well they have annouced in advance of adding stuff to the new channel (so nothing there right now), but they have lots of woodturning and fibre arts How To stuff up already at the other links and I just think its so neat to provide an apprentice level course for free. For anyone. Hope that suceeds.

WingsOnFire
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by WingsOnFire »

@jacob: Can you sew a bunch of them together to make something larger?

reepicheep
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by reepicheep »

bookmark. I did not get pinged when my name was called, but I'm glad you started this thread!

Myakka
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Re: Delving into the Fibre (or Fiber) Arts

Post by Myakka »

Having read the previous posts about Jacob's peg loom, the project that I've dreamt up as possibly doable is a poncho/shawl type garment.

Between the rectangles you would need some triangle shaped pieces which would be sewn together. Either use some other material for those shaping pieces OR weave the triangles (somehow).

At the end of a long process you would have a very warm "coat"
for winter.

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