Dobby Loom

Braids & Design & Dobby & Looms & Uncategorised, 7th September 2016

I have a new dobby loom! I’m very excited by my latest equipment purchase as it will give me much more scope to make new and exciting designs.

I have a new loom! It is a “dobby” loom which is a type of floor loom that controls all the warp threads using a device called a dobby. (The word dobby is a corruption of “draw boy” which refers to the weaver’s helpers who used to control the warp thread by pulling on draw threads.) Basically it allows me to do more complicated things with pattern and/or colour. I have been experimenting with a pattern taken from a design for a coverlet of the kind originally woven by the settlers in America.  The whole design is called “Lee’s surrender” but I took the part of the design that looks a bit like a leaf and turned it into  a wide braid:

Whilst the threading of the actual pattern isn’t particularly complex it is a very lengthy repeat – 96 rows in total – which would be difficult to remember without the help of the dobby mechanism. For the weavers out there who might be interested the original design has the pattern threads in the weft and uses a fine thread on every other pick with tabby to hold everything together. Obviously that is very time consuming to weave so I turned the pattern round by 90 degrees so that the pattern threads are in the warp, inter spaced with fine threads used as the tabby. It means putting the pattern threads and the tabby threads on 2 separate warps as they will take up at different rates when weaving but it means only only one shuttle of weft thread all the way through.

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