Pick-up … Weave … Change shed … Beat … Tug …
Anyone who has woven an inkle band knows the routine. We chant an eternal mantra while we teach a particular warp-faced pattern to our fingers.
- 1- Pick-up warp to make the pattern;
- 2- Weave the row close to the fell, leaving a small loop of weft;
- 3- Change the shed;
- 4- Beat by making a hard push toward the fell line with a beveled-edge shuttle; then,
- 5- Tug gently and firmly on the weft to close the loop and bring the warp in line with the woven edge of the piece.
I would add a sixth step. Take a few seconds to admire your handiwork. (I employ this step at regular intervals.)
A purist will tell you a true inkle band must be produced on an inkle loom. That’s well and good if you are a purist and have an inkle loom that meets your every need. However, I challenge even the purest of purists to determine if a beautiful inkle band was produced on an inkle loom, or on a rigid heddle loom.
By-the-way, if you are interested in checking out other “Pickup Weaves,” please see my article on [Pebble Weave.]
Recently, I inkled a couple of lengthy projects on my old four harness loom. A sample using two shafts with the reed removed proved difficult for the metal heddles. They scrunched together and argued over who should be up and who should be down. To settle the dispute, I cut off the sample and slayed the center of a 10 dent reed, 2 warps per dent. The reed in the unused beater bar kept the heddles happy.
Without a sufficient width of taut warp or woven cloth on which to rest my tools, I dropped the pick-up stick and the bevel-edge shuttle about 100 times. Inkle weave is complicated enough without such distractions. I longed for my little inkle loom which rested on the worktable. Then, finally, I got an innovative. I made a resting place for my book and tools by securing a large cutting board across the open space to make a mini loom-based work table.