Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rebirth - Hilda

I was at an Ink and Spindle Open Day a couple of months ago and Teegs mentioned that she was given a table loom but she did not know how to use it. I said sure, come over and we can figure it out.
We had an initial inspection and decided on the parts that needed replacing. Teegs went to work, ordering new parts and refurbishing the loom.
Both of us are so excited that we needed to tell the world about the re-birth of Hilda and that Teegs is weaving! So this is a shared blog post:
Hilda is a portable 2 shaft/harness table loom, with a weaving width of just under 40cm. The 2 shafts/harnesses work by moving the handle on the top roller back and forth to create the shed. It was interesting to see that all the heddles were connected together, top and bottom. They were made of string with a metal eyelet in the middle. Unfortunately, they were very rusted and on the way to disintegration. The reed was 15 dent and also very rusted.
Teegs: Original, wonky, sad.
Teegs: The restoration & dismantling begins
Teegs replaced all the screws, the tying rods at the back and front beams, and the top and bottom timber bars supporting the heddles. She ordered a new 10 dent reed and Texslov heddles. The reed had to be cut down a fraction to fit within the frame of the beater.
Teegs: In pieces, hoping I'm as good
at puzzles as I'd like to think!
Teegs: Reconstructed, with a thick, fresh
coat of homemade beeswax & olive oil
timber conditioner for her very dry, thirsty wood.
Hilda was put back together again, in a much better condition! We just had to put the heddles back on with some adjustable Texslov loom cords.
Teegan: Hilda! Weaving!
The loom was made in Melbourne by Dyer and Phillips Pty Ltd. I did a brief search on the internet but there was not much information on the company. The address was in Flinders Lane, previously the centre of Melbourne's rag trade for the middle decades of the 20th century.
Teegs made a 7.2m long warp, 10 inches wide at 10epi, of Bendigo Classic 2 ply wool in black. We put the warp on front to back - sleyed the reed first, clamped to the table and then threaded the heddles. (Yes, I do work with a mix of metric and imperial measurements!)
The loom in action!
I had previously shown some of my Saori weaving to Teegs and she was quite interested in that. It has more of a focus on colours and textures, and is quite suited to a plain weave structure.
Weaving with a shuttle stick.
It took us from 11am to just before 6pm with a very short lunch in between to get to this stage. Teegs worked really hard all day and I just did a lot of talking.
Some tapestry techniques and fleece insertion.
Well done Teegs and Hilda! and all the best for your new adventure together. (Yes, Hilda is going sailing as well.) I cannot think of a more appropriate thing to do on a Easter Monday!

PS, I do wonder where did Hilda come from and what was woven on her before!?

Monday, April 1, 2013