Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Word About Letters

Thanks to the internet, I recently discovered a new way to weave letters. (Sorry I don't remember whose blog I saw it on. If it was yours please remind me of this.) This is my first try and I think it was a great success! This belt was woven for a friend by special request and given to her on her birthday. (It is a line from a Beatles song.)

I have experimented with several techniques for making letters over the years.
First was out of my own imagination and not really very good. It was done vertically on the horizontal bar background.
I found a book, "Inkle Weaving" by Lavinia Bradley which had a very workable way of doing it on a checkerboard background. It took a while, but I eventually got the hang of it.
I made a number of pieces using this method.
Sometime later I saw some folks making letters on a vertical stripe background while at a conference. It looked cool when they did it, but I didn't experiment enough to get good at it.

The following piece was impressively woven by Linda Flowtow. I photographed it on a recent visit in her home in Springfield, Illinois. She did a great job of using the weft brocade technique. This is something I have dabbled at, but not enough to get good results. After discovering this tutorial, and seeing Linda's results, I intend to give it another go.

And back to where I started. Last week I finished this belt for myself. (In November at a craft fair, a lady insisted on buying the belt I was wearing, so I have been needing a new one ever since.) I chose to write the slogan off-center , so it wraps around my left hip. The rest of the belt has a few different pattern doodles, but most of it is one pattern inspired by this this black and white Guatemalan faja on Laverne Waddington's blog.
It uses the horizontal bar background. The letters require picking and dropping of threads, but the stepped pattern you see on the rest of the belt is just picking.
Being able to produce attractive pieces with lettering opens up a lot of possibilities!
I'll keep you posted on what I do with this....


  1. Hi Annie,

    I think that was me! You commented on my lettering bands from my post on February 22nd.
    I love the stepped pattern in your belt. Handwoven has published many articles on lettering on the loom. The horizontal bar warp is from one of their issues from the 90's.
    Also, I am thrilled to hear someone else refer to Lavinia Bradley's book. That was the first inkle book I bought, and not many people have heard of her.
    I agree that inkle lettering is a huge area to explore. I love to put words where they are not expected.
    I look forward to seeing more lettering!


  2. Oh, Naomi, thank you! I have some great ideas on how to use lettering, but I won't try to talk about them, I will try to do them and then show the results. Anyway, these letters are so much neater than the checkerboard ones in Lavinia Bradley's book. ~Annie