Tag Archives: navajo

Wedge Weave Resources

Wedge weave is a type of weaving style that gives a distinctive look as the “rows” are woven diagonally. According to what I’ve read, this style of weaving may have become less popular as buyers of rugs wanted a straight edge, and this gives a very unusual scalloped edge due to the way the weft pulls against the warp. There are many different ways to use this style, and some weavers drop in a little here and there while others weave this way for the entire project.

Here are some resources on wedge weave, also known as pulled warp:

Peter Collingwood has a very good overview of the technique in his Techniques of Rug Weaving book, available via PDF here. Scroll to page 164: https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/books/cp_rug1_2.pdf

Profile of weaver Connie Lippart: http://studio24-7.blogspot.com/2014/04/connie-lippert-wedge-weave.html, and a terrific overview article by her: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1034&context=tsaconf

Here are some image searches from Google (hopefully without the wedge shoes that keep showing up!): wedge weave images.

My little sample, about 4″ x 5″, worked out okay for a first try. I learned how to start and stop threads, add new colors, and carry a pattern. I also found out that the loose threads should be woven back in otherwise they’ll pop through to the front. I have some floats here and there, as I puzzled through how to reverse directions. I wove this on a Goodwood Pocket loom.

On the loom:

Wedge Weave Sample

And off the loom. I was pleased to see that even with my loose and sloppy weaving, the scalloped edges came through:

Wedge Weave Sample

Wedge Weave Weaving

I’m using my Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom as a stand-in tapestry loom, and it works great. The loom is a super star when it comes to tension–that thick, sturdy wood and metal pawls and ratchets make it possible. If I learn how to warp it better, I can see using this for tapestry weaving quite often. As it is, I started out perfectly with a warp wound on a warping board, but transferring over became very difficult, so I ended up snipping the ends and tying it on. My plan had been to try for a non-fringe selvedge. Oh, well… that’s how it goes.

I had started another project using greens and browns on this warp, but when I discovered wedge weave, I unwove the other project and started this. I’m now sticking with all greens, probably inspired by the ongoing WAL in Ravelry’s tapestry group. The first two months were monochromatic, and I wove a tiny tapestry in blues, but I was never happy with it. So now… greens! These are mostly needlepoint wool found at an antique store:

Greens

The warp is a four-ply Churro, and it’s spaced at about 5 epi:

Greens

The string heddles I rigged up proved to be helpful only when weaving that footer. I don’t think anyone trying something similar needs to go to the trouble if using a widely-spaced warp like this one. The day wore on, and at 10 p.m. I found myself still weaving. Wedge weave is really fun–and fast as far as a weft-faced weaving goes. Now, I’m at a difficult spot in deciding what to do with the pattern. I’d like to make the center area stand out somehow, and the easiest answer is to use a different set of greens. The hardest answer is to inset some type of tapestry design, but I’m not certain how that will work out. Best idea is to try one, and if it works, stick with it.

Night Weaving

DIY Navajo Loom

After following instructions from Navajo Techniques for Today’s Weaver by Joanne Mattera (1975), I assembled a small Navajo-styled loom. The frame, about 2′ x 3′, was $2 at a junk shop. I think it was meant to be for rug twining because the nails are spaced 1″ apart. I’ve never used it, so it was nice to give it a job. A few of the nails came in handy as I used to them to secure dowels or create tension by wrapping the twine and tying it. Making a loom like this is similar to creating a backstrap loom. It looks fairly simple. There are some sticks, some yarn, etc., but when you look at each piece individually, you realize they each have a very specific job to do, and so you need to put your brain to work to understand how one area is connected to another.

The neat thing about a Navajo loom is that you don’t have fringes when you’re finished. This appealed to me. However, to get that tidy edging, you need to first warp the loom, then twine the top and bottom threads for spacing and securing, and then transfer the warp off the warping dowels and bind onto a second dowel. I failed with both the twining and the binding, My warp threads are too close to each other plus they’re lifting off the second dowel on the edges. My motto: live and learn.

Well, I didn’t spend a penny but I now have a little setup that can be used and improved.

If you’re interested, there are plenty of examples out on the Internet with plans on building more solid Navajo looms:

DIY Navajo Loom