I’ve been working on a project which requires me to use indigenous materials, particularly abaca. The colors are beautiful really, but I can’t feel but a little limited with the options given to me. Whenever we’d ask for a possible alteration of the combinations or a change in choice of yarns, we’ll be told that it will take a long time to make and this for me is just very frustrating. So it hit me. How do you design these materials? How hard could it really be? So this summer, I learned how to weave. And weaving changed me in so many ways. Five days. Two trainors. A 15.5” x 80″ piece of cloth. And boy, it wasn’t very hard. It wasn’t very simple either. But it DEMANDS a lot of patience. But the result, EXTREME JOY! Here’s a quick synopsis of my work in progress during my 5-day workshop.
First day: Lecture + calculation of yarn requirements + warp preparation
First I got to know more about looms.
Then we computed the requirements for weaving. I was SUPER EXCITED!
We only used polyester yarn / thread for this project. It’s the same thread used for sewing.
Second day: Warp preparation + beaming +drawing-inof yarns
Warp preparation continues and finally…
Third day: Drawing in of yarns + denting + weaving (Dry run)
Fourth day: Weaving (Approx. 30” of fabric finished!)
Fifth day: Weaving (Approx. 52″ of fabric — I finished my scarf on the 5th day!)
Before I was so quick to criticize the details of our locally made fabrics. But after undergoing the Basic Loom Weaving at PTRI, I am a changed woman. If there is anything I learned during these 5 days of intense practicum, weaving is not an easy task and requires tremendous amount of patience (as Ma’am Josie would say) and it is truly a humbling experience. I now treasure every millimeter of every handwoven piece made and I am in awe of the person who dedicated his/ her life to weaving these fantastic works. I will never look at weaving the same way again.
My sincerest thank you to PTRI for providing this training at a very affordable rate. My special thanks goes to my extremely patient and creative instructors – Ma’am Josie and Ma’am Tess. Thank you so much for being so patient with me. I really learned a lot about textiles and I salute you for giving your all to keep this tradition alive.