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What Is Involved in the Weaving Process?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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The steps involved in the weaving process differ depending on the tools and methods used, but most involve similar processes. These include preparing all equipment and supplies in usable form, setting up the warp, and making sure the project is at an appropriate tension. The weft yarn is then woven through the warp until a desired size has been reached. Finishing the piece may involve a number of different strategies, but many involve tying the ends of the warp yarn to create tassels or securing these ends in an attractive fashion. In certain types of weaving, other steps may be included as well.

Preparing all tools and materials in advance is an important part of the weaving process. This step ensure that the weaver will not be surprised later on by a lack of materials or broken tools. When preparing these items, it is also a good idea to read all the way to the end of any directions in order to make sure that no problems will arise. In weaving, it is often very difficult to fix past mistakes.

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Warping the loom is often one of the most difficult parts of the weaving process. Many looms require a large amount of space and a complicated arrangement of threads in order to appropriately warp the loom. Getting the thread to just the right tension is often difficult as well. In some looms, warp threads must be set up to move at certain intervals, and having the threads warped incorrectly will change the entire design. For this reason, it is important to be cautious when warping a loom, as this part of the weaving process often determines the look of the finished piece.

Once everything is set up, the weaving process continues with moving the weft yarn through the warp in the fashion required by the technique being used. For example, when using a rigid heddle loom, a weaver typically moves the heddle up and down in order to create two different sheds. When using a setup in which the warp threads are stationary, a weaver must typically move the weft thread between warp threads manually. This part of the process is generally quite uniform, with the major exception being tapestry weaving or other forms of weaving in which the weft yarn does not always go all the way across the piece.

Finishing weaving projects depends on the intended use of the finished piece. In all cases, the warp threads are removed from the loom or weaving device and are typically cut. Some weaving projects involve other finishing steps, which may include removing threads, which is the case in woven shibori. Once the loose ends have been secured and all finishing processes have been observed, the weaving process is over.

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