Edward Bransfield Commemorative Tartan- First Sample

There is a rule (somewhere) that every weaving project must start with sampling. What that means is that you weave for at least eighteen inches (close to 46cm) just to see how the pattern, threads and loom react to each other. You would be amazed at the difference between what you thought you were going to weave and what you actually weave. It fascinates me.

A sample also shows errors in threading or denting or treadling.

Like when the tie-up chain to one of the shafts became untied. It was a silent little thing. No big clunk, no indication that the shaft was not operating. That is, until I couldn’t figure out why the pattern in the sample looked so different.

Looms are like any machine. They need constant upkeep. This particular loom had gotten more than a once over from me and Patricia before we started but one little eyelet screw on the bottom of one shaft loosened just enough to let the chain drop off. When that happened the attached shaft no longer raised when I pushed the treadle to which it was attached. Since there are two shafts attached to one treadle it was not immediately noticeable.

That is why you do a sample.

I discovered that spray starch is a wonderful product for making wool less “sticky”. The edges became more even and the shed separated with greater ease. So as I progressed on this first sample, the weaving became much easier.

That is why you do a sample

I was becoming concerned that the design was not coming out exactly square when I was reminded by my teacher (Patricia Martin) that the weft will shrink slightly more than the warp in the finishing process. So, again, I must have patience.

That is why you do a sample.

I am happy to say that the design is coming to life just as I envisioned it. I am hoping that the entire project will be completed in time for Jim Wilson and Ingrid Nixon to have warm, Antarctica tartan scarves for their next adventure to the Seventh Continent!



Categories: Antarctica, Edward Bransfield Commemorative Tartan, Projects, Tartan, Uncategorized, WeavingTags: , , ,


  1. Sis, you are so cool!


  2. yes, I am!!! Miss you!


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