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Study Group/Warp-weighted Looms

Study Group/Warp-weighted Looms

This Study Group - led by Andrea Myklebust - will meet on Zoom for a lively discussion.

Join us for a dive into topics related to the warp-weighted loom! This group is for anyone interested in learning more about this ancient tool - students and researchers, textile history enthusiasts and re-enactors, and new and experienced warp weighted loompractitioners.

Our goal is to create community, provide inspiration, and share useful technical information about the warp-weighted loom in this series of online presentations and conversations.

Facilitated by Andrea Myklebust, each month’s session explores different aspects of using this ancient tool, or will feature a guest presenter.  Register for single sessions or for the entire series.

Session 1 - March 27th: Introduction to the Warp-weighted Loom

In this first session we will learn about the parts of the warp-weighted loom, and discuss recent and ongoing scholarly research and hands-on weaving being done on the warp-weighted loom. This session will also devote time to a round-robin introduction of study group participants.

Session 2 - April 24th: Warp and Weights

In this session we’ll talk about different ways of making a warp, including ways to create a frame for heading bands woven using tablets or a rigid heddle. We’ll also talk about loom weights, ways of making them, and the effects of different weights and their configurations on woven structures.

Session 3 - May 29th: Experimental Pile Textiles of Ancient Mesopotamia

Guest presenter Elizabeth Clancy will present findings from her research into the construction of ancient textiles depicted in Sumerian votive statuary.  She will discuss  weaving experimental Mesopotamian pile textiles on the warp-weighted loom.

Session 4 - June 26th: Spinning for the Warp-weighted Loom

Using the textile finds of Norse Greenland as a jumping off point, guest presenter Becka Ranta will focus on spinning for the warp-weighted loom. Textiles which combined spindle-spun Z and S spun yarns in their warps and wefts, the spindles, distaffs and combs used in fiber preparation will be discussed. 

Session 5 - July 31st: Looms Big and Small

Guest presenter Melba Granlund will discuss her work with the warp-weighted loom, which has included the construction of smaller-scale versions of the loom and her teaching warp-weighted loom weaving on these smaller scale tools.

Session 6 - August 28th: Antique Warp-weighted Loom Textiles of Norway

Guest presenter Katherine (Kay) Larson  is the author of The Woven Coverlets of Norway, and an affiliate faculty member in the University of Washington’s Department of Scandinavian Studies. Her textile history research is focused primarily on the warp-weighted loom, particularly as it was used to produce relatively complicated double-weave coverlets in Norway. Kay will discuss the anomaly of the loom’s survival in Norway, its most recent documented uses, problems inherent in producing double-weave on this loom, and her understanding of possible loom adaptations made by clever weavers of the past to overcome these problems.

Session 7 - September25th: Futures for the Warp weighted Loom

The warp-weighted loom is an ancient tool. How does it live in the 21st century? What can these very old ways of making cloth tell us about the world we live in now? This session features a group discussion about ways to continue bringing the warp-weighted loom back to life, and asks "where do we go from here?". 


Dates: March 27, April 24, May 29, June 26, July 31, August 28, and September 25, 2024

Time: 7:00-8:30pm Eastern Time, via Zoom

Cost: $25 per session or $125 for the complete series of 7 Sessions


This study group will have a limit of 15 participants per session.

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