Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The First Straw

For anyone curious about straw weaving, this is one of the first tries I made with weaving straw wefts. This was rye straw and red Norwegian spelsau wool. The cotton warp was threaded in goose-eye. Later I used oat straw. Rye straw is longer, but oat straw crinkles up a little as it is woven, and glistens. Most of my other pieces were woven narrower and longer than this, as table runners. The contrast of black or dark blue wool with oat straw is my favorite, but white wool and straw is also beautiful. Unbleached linen, 16/2 , is a good warp choice. VAV magazine has several articles about weaving straw in their archives. Straw weaves are quite durable, and also may be washed. I think it would be pretty, and have recently seen (not sure where) some pretty straw weaves in monks belt.

8 comments:

Janice Zindel said...

Beautiful piece of straw weaving. I'd seen those articles in VAV, and always wondered if they could be washed. Just curious, where did you obtain the straw?

pam said...

Thank you, Susan! What a gorgeous piece. I am really tempted now to try working with straw on my little loom. Like I NEED another temptation!

jude said...

this is very interesting. thank you.

Brittany Noel said...

This is beautiful! Monk's belt would be really really cool to see! I did woven shibori with a monk's belt pattern and it turned really nice. That's been my only experience though. This straw weaving is a really beautiful technique, though. I've been thinking about getting a tabletop loom... Do you know if they come with four harnesses? I've only seen two...

Velma said...

have you "handled" the woven straw, crinkled it up, etc, and does it hold together?

yesterday i saw another japanese shifu piece--finely woven--warp maybe 50 epi--lovely!!!

Susan said...

Janice, the straw is from the Amish. I thought I needed to use some special black bearded weaving straw, but ordinary oat straw is fine. I should clean and bundle some of it and put it in my etsy store. It's fun to weave, but not easy to find

Pam, thanks. You should try it.

Jude, thanks for looking.

Brittany, I hope you'll find at least a little studio floor loom, 22". I was always frustrated with table looms

Velma, well, yes, I handled it, and it does crinkle. Are you thinking about making it into paper??
It's not so brittle that it breaks

Brittany Noel said...

Thanks for the tip, Susan! You are totally invaluable.

Joanna said...

Your blog is the first thing I look at in the morning - before I look at my loom! Courage, mon brave, persevere and someday you might might produce something half as good as Susan's, say I to myself.