Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cloth Haven

At the end of 2005, I had just finished my first year of (part-time)study in textile design and was on my way to Shanghai for the holidays. I wanted to make the most of the trip and was determined to do as much research as possible. I found out that there is a 'Guide to Asian textile collections' published by the Textile Society of Hong Kong. It was available at a place called 'Cloth Haven'. I went there, had a quick look around, signed up for their email newsletter, bought the guide and left.

In subsequent years, it had been closed whenever I had visited Hong Kong. This year, I was lucky. Edith who runs Cloth Haven was in town. She remembered me and I signed up for some weaving time.

Lobby/Display area:

Loom area:

There are approximately 5 Saori looms in the workshop/studio. I have never used one of these before but have read about them in Kaz's blog. The warps are prepared by participants of the Salvation Army rehabilitation programme.

I spent two afternoons there, learning the clasp weft technique and fell in love with these looms. If I were ever to get another loom, it will have to be one of these.

The interesting part with these looms is that the weaving, the reed and the shafts can be taken out with the warp intact, and another set can be inserted in its place. There are clips in the front and at the base of the loom. Separate warps can be woven at different times with only 1 frame. It also has a built-in bobbin winder! (the top right hand corner of the loom)

Catching up with Edith and learning about these looms was one of the many highlights of this trip.

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