Posted on July 14 2015
Does a Stradivarius violin create better music? Does a Wusthof, or Henckels knife improve your skills as a chef? Does a Red Sable brush paint a better portrait? An exquisitely crafted tool is the pinnacle, however only the artist can bring its purpose to life. One must develop a relationship with an instrument in order to learn its sounds, how it reacts in different climates and what it needs in terms of maintenance to produce the very best. Once you learn the personality of your tools and which ones perform best for the outcome you desire, you can manifest your skills with perfection.
For our weave-room we chose the mechanical virtuoso, the W3 shuttle loom. The concepts of mechanical engineering are about dynamics, physics, and understanding motion. It is about working physically with materials and tools. It is a visual learning that is essential, as comprehensive knowledge of mechanics is still at the base of all electronic technology.
To operate a W3 loom gives strong grounding in a hands-on trade. All of the working parts can be repaired manually on site. It is a constant on the job training that gives foundation and skill to a strong team. The W3 loom is a flexible tool. It does not confine us to high minimums that other looms require in order to be efficient. We can maximize the value of detail in design as alterations and inventions are immediately possible right at the loom.
Each new yarn and fiber presents a different challenge as natural fibers each have their own character, presenting new circumstances. Some yarns are more flexible, requiring more tension. Others have little or no flexibility creating stress to the machinery. Intimate knowledge of how the machinery will respond to both environment and materials greatly improves the quality of the fabric. One sure sign of a master is when the true closed selvedges - that only a shuttle loom can create - are perfectly even.
It’s about playing your instrument to get the best performance. This is especially true of mastering the art of weaving on a shuttle loom. One of the greatest challenges has been to learn to weave 100% Linen. The flax fiber, which upon being spun and woven is called Linen, is a plant fiber with no flexibility whatsoever. It creates great tension on the machinery and if not handled expertly, the appearance of the fabric will show it. Brahms Mount is a master of weaving Linen. View Brahms Mount Linen Blankets / Throws.
Another challenge we have mastered is combining yarns at the loom as in our NEW Fair Isle Cotton/Alpaca Dayblanket and Textured Stripe. The Cotton is flexible on the loom, however the Alpaca, known for its smooth texture, is a challenge as it is slippery when weaving. The result of the combination is sumptuous and worth every bit of learning! View Alpaca Throw Selection