Missouri Artists On Main, 315 – 321 S. Main St. Charles, MO 63301
(636) 724-1260 http://www.maomgallery.com
From prehistory to the present day many civilizations and cultures have contributed to the development of weaving.
Woven cloth has been, and continues to be, produced on a variety of loom types that reflect an array of historical, cultural, and regional circumstances. Today they range from basic, portable backstrap looms to widely used electronic jacquard looms.
It is likely that the development of weaving was instigated by the basic needs of prehistoric people: food, shelter, and clothing. The embellishment of woven objects is similarly historical; natural dyes on reeds and weaving elements in different sizes and colors were combined to create patterns, indicating a desire to convey individuality and aesthetic awareness.
The treadle loom, developed in China during the Shang period (1766-1122 BC) is the precursor of modern hand and industrial looms. The treadle loom consists of long pedals, which are operated by the weaver’s feet and are tied to one or more shafts making it easier to raise and lower warp threads in selected combinations. Importantly, it allowed weavers to keep their hands free to manipulate the shuttle.
The most significant developments in weave production started in the eighteenth century when the Industrial Revolution pioneered a shift toward mechanical production. The first practical power loom was designed by Edmund Cartwright in 1787, but it was the 1820s before technical shortcomings were resolved and the weaving industry was transformed.
In France, in 1801, Joseph Jacquard invented a loom that represented a major technological breakthrough. A series of punched cards was added to the top of the loom to control a complex pattern of warp threads. This complicated machine later developed into a looped arrangement of cards for creating repeat patterns in cloth and carpets. The jacquard loom enabled intricate patterns to be woven without the continual intervention of the weaver and is widely acknowledged to be a precursor of modern computer science.
Anni Albers, former Bauhaus and Black Mountain College weaving tutor, took the craft of hand weaving to new levels of creativity during her prolific career spanning the twentieth century. Significantly, this involved breaking down the traditional perceptions of weaving, to the extent that her designs were widely seen as art forms full of similar creative content and vitality to that found in fine art and in particular abstract paintings. Albers defined weaving as forming a pliable plane of threads by rectangular interlacing. She described the woven cloth as possessing two key elements: the building material (by which she meant the thread structure and the character of the fibers it contained) and the actual weave or construction. Albers developed her definition by explaining weaving as the process of passing the weft between taut, alternatively raised warps, creating a plain weave, or between other combinations of selected warps.
“Hand-woven textile designs.” Textile Design, Simon Clarke, Laurence King, 1st edition, 2011. Credo Reference Accessed 19 Jul 2017.
| A rectangular or square frame can be the simplest of looms.
MAOM will offer a class for beginning weavers during the month of August.
Painting With Yarn, Tapestry For Beginners
resident artist, Judith Drew
In this class, each student is provided a lap-sized frame loom which you will prepare to be two sided. One side for exercises and techniqes, and the other
for your original woven design. All cord and yarns provided, plus small tools.
Sundays, August 6, 13, 20 (3 weeks)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
$70 (Adult) and $60 (Children) with an adult (9 years old and up)
All Materials Provided!