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What is weaving? Types and techniques of weaving
What is weaving? Types and techniques of weaving

It is known that the craft of fabric production originated in the Stone Age. Judging by the results of archaeological research, initially weaving products were woven items made of grass, strips of animal skin and their veins. The first device for the production of primitive types of fabric appeared about five thousand years BC. Then his appearance was a real evolutionary leap in the production of clothing and household items. What is weaving today? How much has the technological process and the quality of manufactured products changed?

what is weaving

From the history of craft development

It is believed that the first loom for weaving appeared in Asia. It was there that archaeologists discovered its primitive model. The masters of that time used the wool of various animals, plant fibers and natural silk as the main raw materials. By the way, the secret of making silk fabric for a long time remained in China. Despite the fact that with the advent of the Silk Road, the material spread widely around the world, for many centuries this country maintained a monopoly in the production of silk - the secret of its manufacture is strictlyguarded.

Nevertheless, looms began to appear everywhere in Asia, Europe and Japan. By that time, people had already learned to use the juice of various plants as dyes for fabric. At the same time, weaving masters quickly mastered the technique of decorating fabric with various patterns woven from multi-colored threads. So this craft turned into art and became an integral part of the life of different peoples.

It is known for certain that the knowledge of weaving was well owned by the ancient Incas. From time immemorial, the works of Eastern and Persian craftswomen have been famous throughout the world, and weaving in Ancient Russia was the most important element of handicraft production.

For a long time, the technology of hand weaving consisted in a certain interlacing of threads. The frame of a primitive weaving device was threaded in a special way - along the loom. These threads are called the warp. The warp threads had to be pulled tight enough, while they should remain parallel to each other. Other threads transverse to the warp, which we still call weft, must be intertwined with the warp threads, forming a woven fabric.

To keep the warp threads evenly stretched, they were wound on a special roller, the so-called navoi. As the finished fabric appeared, it was wound on another roller located on the opposite side from the warp.

hand weaving

First loom

The primitive models of the first mechanisms used to create fabric were a simple vertical frame. Pulled on herthreads, and the weaver, holding a larger shuttle in his hands, passed it through the warp. Such a process was quite lengthy and complicated: the threads had to be sorted out by hand, because of this they often broke, and the fabric itself turned out to be too thick. Nevertheless, hand weaving occupied one of the primary places in the life of ancient people, and such devices were used in almost every home. Thanks to the primitive mechanisms of weaving machines, new items of clothing, carpets and bedding began to appear.

Innovative technologies

By the middle of the 11th century, a horizontal loom appeared. Similar devices with minor modifications have survived to this day. They were used until the 17th century and can still be found in some homes.

The name "horizontal loom" comes from the way the warp threads are tensioned. The modified mechanisms of the weaving device, unlike the first models of machines, had already acquired improvements in the form of additional parts by this time. Rollers, foot pedals, vertical combs and a shuttle were attached to the main working element (wooden frame). By this time, people had learned to produce better and more uniform threads from plant fibers and animal hair. Therefore, more interesting types of weaving began to appear, using new techniques, colors and methods of weaving threads.

New attempts to mechanize looms in the textile industry were successfully implemented only at the end of the 18th century, when the English inventor E. Cartwright invented a mechanical loom with more moderndesign features. Today, machine designs have changed dramatically and are now being used on a production scale.

Modern production

Modern automatic fabric making machines are more complex, electrically powered and can produce a wide variety of materials. However, hand weaving is a craft that is still alive today. Although today it is found more as an applied art, self-woven products are often exhibited at exhibitions and sell well in souvenir shops.

Folk traditions of ancient craftswomen are passed down from generation to generation, complemented by new rounds of more modern techniques and the use of improved materials.

Weaving in Russia

Spinning and weaving in Russia was an obligatory female occupation. Regardless of social status, every girl was taught to weave, spin, knit and embroider from early childhood. The nickname “not a weaver” was considered the most offensive for a teenage girl, because each had to prepare her own dowry - sheets, tablecloths, bedspreads, towels and other household items and home decor.

woven carpet

During great holidays and special events, when many people appeared in the house, each room was decorated with the best woven works: beautiful curtains were hung on the windows, the table was covered with the best tablecloth, and the walls were decorated with various towels. This spoke not only of the skills of the hostess, but also testified to the prosperity of the family. Therefore, every woman, and thata more unmarried girl, trying to show herself a skilled craftswoman, tried to weave the best work for such cases. That is why family craftsmanship was carefully preserved, improved and passed down from generation to generation. The secrets of Russian weaving accumulated over the centuries have survived to this day.

Of course, in Russia there have always been many talented craftsmen and skilled craftswomen. Therefore, despite the complexity and laboriousness of the primitive process, weaving techniques have been constantly improved.

Archaeological research by modern scientists indicates that many examples of clothing and household items dating from the 10th-11th centuries have high artistic merit and are distinguished by harmonious coloring with balanced proportions and a successful scale of ornamentation. This testifies to the high level of weaving skill in Russia at that time.

Home weaving today

Today, patterned weaving has become more exotic than everyday homework: homespun carpets, curtains, tablecloths, napkins, sheets and clothing fabrics have long replaced industrial counterparts. Today, not every housewife will take up woven needlework. However, the craft is still alive, and in some regions it is being actively revived and developed. Traditional culture centers and many individual craftsmen hold specialized workshops and exhibitions of the best works. Self-woven products are successfully sold in specialized stores.

Of course, new devices and modern materials greatly facilitate the work of weavers, while productsretain a bright, multi-color range and complexity of patterns. Thanks to modern materials, craftswomen can get amazing effects of weaving threads. Nevertheless, weaving is a complex and time-consuming process that requires special attention, endurance and patience. But the finished products created by skilled craftswomen are pleasing to the eye.

what is pattern weaving

Types of weaving

Until the beginning of the 20th century, woven craft was considered one of the priority household activities in the cultures of most peoples of Russia and neighboring countries. All main types of reproduction of a woven fabric were carried out using a manual wooden loom. As the main raw material for the production of fabric at home, flax or hemp fibers, sheep or goat wool were usually used. Sometimes the fabric was made from cotton or silk threads, a commodity imported from Asian countries. By this time, Russian craftswomen had fully mastered the various techniques of weaving threads, and many of them had mastered complex techniques for creating patterns.

What is patterned weaving in the understanding of the ancient weavers? This is an image of simple geometric lines and shapes. However, to reproduce such an ornament on the fabric, special skill was required. No wonder patterned weaving has always been considered the most difficult and time-consuming way to decorate a canvas. Despite the fact that the loom was present in almost every home, not every housewife could create a product with a complex pattern.

Linen and embedded technique

The simplest type of weaving was consideredlinen. It has been used throughout the history of weaving, creating fabric for underwear and towels.

The weaving technique is also one of the most ancient. This method of weaving involves laying threads not across the entire width of the fabric, but only in some of its sections. "Pawns" were usually an ornament of the simplest geometric shapes. They could be performed by combining different threads. Patterns were created using multi-colored linen, woolen or cotton threads. As a result of a complex, laborious process, a smooth canvas was obtained, the same on both sides.

Interestingly, weaving was used on both horizontal and vertical hand looms. A woven wool carpet made using this technique was a must-have in every home.

Scarred weaving

This technique was known in Russia even before the Tatar-Mongol invasion. It is distinguished from mortgage weaving by the relief texture of the fabric. When performing this technique, a special bar or plank was used - a pickle. With its help, some threads were selected from the base, creating an additional shed. The result was a pattern superimposed on top of the background, sometimes from the front side, sometimes from the wrong side. Therefore, the pattern applied to the surface of selected tablecloths and canvases looks like a negative from the inside. Usually the main background of the woven pattern was located horizontally and could be red or blue. However, in some regions, products of the same color were often found, where the pattern stood out due to the contrast in the thickness of the threads and the playchiaroscuro.

weaving technique

Elective technique

The name of this method says that such weaving is very similar to scolding. To play it, you also need the same special board or rod. One, in contrast to the branoy execution technique, with the elective technique, the ducks never rolled from edge to edge. The pattern was superimposed in separate sections, which made the fabrics multi-colored and embossed. However, the front and back sides, as well as with the braced technique, look like each other's negative.

Separate hand weaving

This technique of creating a woven fabric is widely used in Ukrainian and Belarusian art. The appearance of such products is very similar to products made by the method of selective weaving, but the fabric manufacturing technology is significantly different from it. No puller is used here, but the number of shafts in the machine, into which the warp threads fell, increases. In folk art, to this day, two methods of "brute force" are distinguished. To obtain a double-sided ornament of a fabric pattern, craftswomen, as before, use one patterned weft, and to obtain a multi-color pattern, two or more wefts have to be used. Compared to warp or selective hand weaving, this technique is less laborious. At the same time, it should be noted that the use of enumerations makes it possible to create brighter and more diverse color motifs of the picture and the freedom of its location.

Openwork weaving

At the end of the 19th century, especially popularbecomes openwork weaving. This method of creating an amazingly beautiful ornament was common in the regions of the Russian North. An openwork pattern with an entertaining weave and interweaving was made in the form of through gaps and an alternating pattern. It is known for certain that such weaving was mainly used to create curtains and tablecloths.

types of weaving

Shaft weaving

When making fabric with a horizontal loom, one of the most common techniques is the heald or multi-shaft technique. In this case, colored threads can be alternated in a certain order. With the help of this technique, various patterns were created with simple geometric lines, and the resulting ornament could be very diverse in color. Usually this technique was used to decorate tablecloths, towels and women's underskirts. Some craftswomen made woven carpets using elements of this technique. Examples of fabrics made using this technique can be found on images of saints' clothes and icons of the 14th-15th centuries in the works of Novgorod and Galician icon painters.

Multi-coloured fabric or motley

One of the simplest types of heddle technique is multi-coloured fabric or motley. It was a checkered or striped pattern. Traditional reds, blues and whites were used as primary colors, with yellows and greens sometimes added. Multicolored fabrics were used to make shirts, sundresses, aprons and bedspreads.

Cellulose and pawn pattern inweaving

A pattern formed by fine weft matting over a smooth weft. This is a rather complex, more time-consuming type of shaft technique. Usually, the pattern of multi-colored checker had a clear geometric shape. Nevertheless, woven images could be very diverse. Such a conclusion can be drawn based on the surviving names: "lattices", "circles", "cucumbers", "gingerbread" or "money".

The woven ornament, made in the form of so-called checkers, is called the "pawn pattern". Convex patterns stood out with an unusual effect due to the play of chiaroscuro.

weaving masters

Combining weaving techniques

An interesting fact is that skilled craftswomen could combine several weaving techniques at once. What is possible to do on primitive devices is unlikely to be believed by our contemporaries, having seen with their own eyes such a professionally made self-woven fabric. However, this is possible and many modern needlewomen repeat the skill of the ancient weavers today.

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