Saturday, July 17, 2010

Casette Tape. Rewind. Reuse. Recycle. Weave.

A while back, I wrote about my first inspiration and experiment with using cassette tape in my weaving.
(Re-read that post here if you like.)
Since then, I have done some more experimenting. On the first ones, I just used the cassette tape as warp and tried some bright colors of nylon as weft. The resulting fabric, while interesting, was not especially useful.

When asked to make a guitar strap, I said it would not be strong enough, but then I decided to add a strand of cotton along with the tape. Better fabric. The guitar strap was made and sent out to the customer for use and testing. The reviews were good.

Recently, I decided to take that a little further and use a heavier black cotton with the black tape and to put a pattern into it, as I would normally do with a guitar strap. I had this lovely, shiny deep red yarn that I thought was a nice complement.

Then, yesterday I wore a sash which I bought in Guatemala that has mylar strands in it. Hmmm...

This reminded me of the tape, so I tried something new. I put a single stripe of cassette tape in amongst the other colors in the pattern just for a shiny accent.  This is a strap for my new camera case. The pattern did not come out as planned. I was setting up my loom and cooking dinner at the same time, so not paying attention.

The colors did not end up in the symmetrical pattern which I had intended. AND, you can't really even see the cassette tape. I'll have to use more next time.   The strap will be perfectly functional for my trip to New Mexico and I will probably make another one in the future.


  1. I love to see what materials other weavers use as weft or warp. Do you have old cassette tapes that you cannibalize or do you find them secondhand? Is stretching an issue?
    Great reuse!

  2. I've been looking for a way to immortalize my "Best of Bread" tape!

  3. That is so cool! The tape makes a really interesting weft and good use of recycled materials.

  4. Naomi- People are so happy to give me cassette tapes. I have a grocery bag full. When used individually, the strands may stretch and a lot of them snapped during weaving. Running a strand of cotton alongside solved that problem.
    I bet you could twist it or even ply two together if you were so inclined.
    Chris- I loved that album! Still have the "vinyl".
    If only you played guitar. Maybe a strap for your laptop or briefcase? You name it, brother, and I will weave you one.
    Spinning Out of Control- Thanks. The warp is the cassette tape. It is a good way to use what so many people now want to discard. Everyone seems to have and MP3 player but me. I confess to actually playing some of the tapes people gave me to use as yarn!

  5. Finally delurking to tell you how much I enjoy visiting your site - so many wonderful things! I'm wondering if you would share where you source your leather guitar strap tabs? My 11 year old son recently started guitar lessons and I would like to make him a strap for his birthday in early August. Thanks for the inspirations! Maria

  6. Maria-
    Thank you for your kind comments. Sorry about the slow response; I just got back from traveling.
    I make the guitar strap tabs myself because I was unable to find them anywhere. There are many steps involved in making them and I have to rent time on a machine to do the cutting. So many people have asked, that I've thought about selling the pieces as a do-it-yourself kit, but at this point, I'd have to charge about $10 to make it worth the while. If that is interesting to you, please send me an e-mail. My address is in the right column here.