Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Weaving tips: making tassels.

I thought that it might be useful to describe how I make tassels for my hand woven scarves.

The hair braider
I use a hair braider which I bought many years ago.  It has never been used to braid hair but it makes tassel making easier.

The waste threads at the end of the woven scarf.
At the begining and end of handweaving a scarf, I weave several picks using a waste yarn.  This helps to keep the weft in place when the material is taken off the loom.

I undo this thread at each side of the scarf leaving some of the threads in the cnetre area. You can see that they are fine pink threads.  When making tassels, start at each side of the scarf and work towards the centre.
Three groups of warp ends for the next tassel.
You need to decide how thick you want your tassels to be.  Then divide the ends into three equal groups.

Clip the three groups into the braider
Clip the three groups into the braider.  Hold the scarf fimly with your other hand or place a heavy book on top of the material.

Start to twist
Start to twist the three groups.  The braider does all the work.

Once there is sufficient twist, press the switch on the braider to twist the three groups into one. 

Carefully tie a knot at the end of the newly made tassel.  I try to adjust the length of each tassel as I work along the end of the scarf.

When all the tassels are made, I wash the scarf and then make any final adjustments before trimming the ends.

From July 2nd to 30th July there is an exhibition by the Durham Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers to celebrate 35 years.  The exhibition is called 'Looking Back Going Forward'. This exhibition is in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral,  a prestigious venue. This scarf will be one of my exhibits. 

Susan J Foulkes June 2015

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