I am still looking at binding and traditional basketry techniques. This sample uses jute string and wool from the Hindolveston flock with coiling to create a flat circular structure.
I have combined the coiled circle with one of the bound reeds and used a piece of undyed linen to join them together. The ends of the reeds have been tapered to give a reference to seeing the ends of reeds when used in traditional thatch.
One aspect that is very much a part of reed gathering is bundling the reed into a standard size for thatchers to use. I have used various yarns for binding to give texture and colour to the reeds.
The arrangement of the reeds to create pattern to take into fabric digital print
Disaster! Taking the weave off the polystyrene holder it virtually collapsed as the reeds were too narrow for the weave construction. I replaced them with pure wool which gave a soft padded feel to the weave.
This shows the pocket construction with the yarn ends taken to the inside of the weave. Not what I was expecting from this construction but it could be an interesting development.
Setting the frame for a straight back, two pocket enclosure using reed as the warp.
Beginning the weave using 80% bamboo/ 20% wool mix.
Showing the weave progressing. The knots on the outside should push through to the back of the work when finished. I will finish with a few rows of cotton parcel string to give a texture contrast.
Using cotton parcel string for the spaced warp and weft and using bundles of reed as supplementary weft insertions. The weave is fairly rigid, will it retain its shape when taken off the loom?
Taking the work off the loom to find that it did retain its shape. The reed bundles are not as tight as they were when on the loom but are fairly well held.
The weave is rigid enough to stand in a circle.
By doubling the weave in half the reed bundles can be interlaced to form an enclosing net structure.
Taking the same number of reeds and using to make a continuous weave by putting the reeds in the polystyrene holder in a circle. When this weave was half way I took the reeds out of the holding block and continued weaving. The structure is very flexible and does hold its shape to a degree.
Laid on its side the shape is still retained.
However it is easily flattened making it easily portable and storeable.
Using the same configuration of 17 reeds with hemp yarn in colours reflecting the reed bed. The bottom part of the weave uses a two warp pattern for the weft which gives more texture to the piece. The top part uses the yarn double but uses a single warp pattern in the weft.
The structure is very flexible and gives rise to manipulation of the weave to create a 3D structure.
Showing both reed weaves interlacing the ends to create form and structure. What about weaving in the round, how rigid or flexible will the structure be by using a pliable weft?
At last the arrival of some Norfolk reed to play with. I am going to combine it initially with pure wool from the flock of sheep at Hindolveston.
The reed was not easy to hand hold so I have made a warp holder from a piece of polystyrene packaging. I'm using 17 reeds in differing lengths for this first weave. At this stage I am only looking at the material properties of a rigid warp material combined with a pliable weft material.
The basic weave begun using the wool. The polystyrene holder keeps the reed rigid and makes the weaving even.
After the initial rows using the wool I took the reeds from the warp holder as they now had enough stability to keep together as a hand held frame. At this point I decided to try other materials in the weft and started with strips of newsprint slightly twisted and then finished with raffia. The materials are natural, the colours are harmonious and are suggestive of the colours found in a reed bed.
The piece of weaving is very flexible, I folded it in half lengthways and interlaced the reed ends to form a structure.