Some of my backstrap weaving done in Oaxaca

19 March 2016

I decided to work with a black warp which made my teacher roll her eyes.   So hard to see. So I decided to make a sample first to see if I could see the black warp to make the brocade. 

I started with the Zapotec delicate inlay that I studied last year.  

last years first attempt

  
So I made a black warp, same size yarn, 16/2, same number of threads,  same width. I tried four colors of inlay- white, pale pink, light grey and Mexican Rose

my favorite.  
The grey and pale pink are hard to tell apart. The Mexican Rose and white show a little better.  I went from 2 strand to 3 for the brocade weft.   Last year I used a thinner ground weft, 16/1, behind the brocade to  make it more visible, but this year I didn’t have any thinner yarn in black,unfortunately. 

Technically this is discontinuous inlay. I don’t think this is working. 

The traditional stripe pattern in the Rose is lovely. 

Then I decided to try a different technique that  has the supplemental weft on top of the ground cloth then it goes back into the shed. The design should be much bolder. It is a continuous supplemary weft that is either on top of the shed or in it.  It is called tejido Huave or Huave weave where Huave is the name of the ethnic group that uses this structure extensively.  

photo by Karen Elwell

 

I was working with this structure last summer and one of the trickey parts is the contrast between the ground and brocade weft.   I want the inlay part to almost disappear. Best try the Mexican Rose to see how it works. 


 The color works well but I was just making up designs and changing the scale. 

Then I took a class at Museo Textil de Oaxaca with Noe Pinzon Paradox , backstrap weaving  Huave style.   

Noe with his loom warped with 60/2 cotton. This is the wrong side that you see.


Noe is a gifted weaver, he has been weaving for 18 years, since he was 4.Obviously part of a weaving family.

He is also an excellent and patient teacher.  

one orange and three blue designs done in class

So using what I learned in class I returned to my black warp.  Repeating the best of the 3 blue designs done in class in grey:

 
 The doubled grey brocading warp, same as I used in class, is too bulky for this warp and looks irregular. So I reduced the brocading weft to a single strand of embroidery floss ( all six threads, just like it comes in the package). 

a smaller Huave design

 

Then I tried  an acrylic yarn that was lying around.   

 The new design is hard to see. 

the edges are getting better

 
Best design in my favorite color. This bolder brocade works much better on this black warp.  

The black and white haunts  me.  May have to do some classic black and white. 

The Huave style brocade produces much heavier and stiffer cloth than the Zapotec inlay. That is because Huave uses all six strands of the embroidery floss and it goes from selvage to selvage.  Zapotec inlay only uses 3 strands and only where there is a design. 

If I want the Zapotec inlay to show more, and I work without a finer ground thread, I may have to space out the warps more. 

Much learned and ready for the next warp. 

 

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3 Responses to “Some of my backstrap weaving done in Oaxaca”

  1. Linda Sage Says:

    Karren, your format is not working for some of your pictures – showing an elongated frame with only a tiny edge of the weaving.Some of the pictures are a puzzle as to what you are wishing to show: a staircase and a chair-?

    Like

  2. Kathleen Kreitman Says:

    I can’t seem to access your photos on your blog. Am I missing something?

    Like


    • The pics load slowly but fine on my iPhone. When I click on them I get the full size version.
      I am posting from an app on the iPhone and it does not give me an option of sizing the images. They might be too big for your device. Don’t know what else to do, not seeing the pics is a bummer.

      Like


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