What is the course about?
This course is designed to teach you the basics of how to handweave, with a focus on raised surface decoration and highly textured techniques, inspired by traditional rug making techniques. The course focuses on teaching you to weave using the most simple and accessible weaving equipment, a frame loom. You may apply techniques learnt to make woven cloth for interiors/upholstery, fashion or to create a contemporary woven textile art piece.
What will we cover?
On this course you will gain a sound working knowledge of weaving. You will learn about basic weave structure, techniques, materials, terminology, and tools and equipment.
You will be guided through from the initials steps of how to set up a loom with a warp for weaving; understanding setts and tension; warp and weft. You will be taught how to handweave in plain weave structure on a frame loom. We will cover simple edging techniques of hemstitching and fringing and how to take the piece off the loom.
You will be taught the highly textured, traditional rug making techniques of rya knots and soumak stitch. You will create a series of samples of each technique to explore and develop. You will have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of yarns and fibre types to explore scale, colour and texture.
There will be a presentation of contemporary woven textile makers and traditional weaving to further inspire and inform your design development. Based on the techniques learnt and investigation of contemporary and traditional makers, you design and develop a larger finished woven piece, suitable for your desired application – interiors/fashion/textile art.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Dress a frame loom with a warp appropriate for your future projects
- Decribe a basic weave structure and be able to handweave efficiently in plain weave
- Develop and produce several samples of the raised surface techniques learnt
- Apply the techniques learnt to a final piece
- Demonstrate skills with confidence so as to develop personal projects and produce an individual body of woven work into the future
More experienced students will be able to:
- Extend the possibilities of these techniques in relation to your own design ideas.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is aimed at beginners and no prior weaving experience is necessary. It teaches basic skills and is also suitable to those who wish to revise basic skills and build up their knowledge of woven techniques.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through practical demonstrations both to the group and to individuals. Group discussions and feedback are encouraged.
The course will be hands-on, and you will learn by repeating and practising the techniques taught; through sampling, repetition and experimentation. You will be taught by demonstration, group and individual tuition and a short presentation. You will be taken through the techniques with a group demonstration and then individually as neccessary. You will have access to visual aids of books, magazines and images for inspiration to enrich your learning experience.
You will be encouraged to begin a technical notebook in which to keep samples, swatches, handouts and any note-taking you find useful. There will be recommendations for relevant books and shops, which will help develop your skills after the course is completed.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring along to each session:
- An A4 sketch book or file so you can collect visual information, file sample swatches, record any new techniques and collect handouts.
- Pen for writing any notes
- Digital/Phone cameras are also useful to record any new weave techniques done during the course.
Basic experimental materials will be provided but you are encouraged to bring along any fancy yarns and materials you may wish to also use and experiment with.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
After completing this course, you may be interested in other constructed textiles courses at City Lit, such as knitting, crochet and felt-making. Furthermore, there are a range of textile courses at City Lit throughout the year including courses in surface design, stitch, print, dye and mixed media.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details