To Inkle And Beyond

I not only do ‘a little cloth’ but also weave.  Lately,  I have been changing as a weaver.  Attracted to more primitive types of weaving.  Less fancy loom driven.  Last year I purchased a new Le Clerc Compact 4-shaft loom, but it just doesn’t ‘light my fire’, as they say.  I have come to the conclusion I am just not interested in weaving complex patterned fabric using complex weaving drafts (patterns), while juggling a lot of shafts, pedals, brake levers, etc.  It’s just not in me.  It’s not me.

But I am excited about less equipment driven forms of weaving.  I recently found a ‘lucet’ at a local thrift shop.  A lucet is also known as a weaving fork.  It is a two-pronged instrument that is used to make cordage and braiding.  It has its origin during the time of the Vikings and was in use until the late middle ages.  I got the lucet for ninety-five cents and am happy as a clam using it.  I find the turning of the lucet and the wrapping of the yarn to be a very meditative and calming activity (as opposed to the 4-shaft  loom which drives me crazy and stresses me out.  Weaving is supposed to be fun, right?). 

Also, I have purchased a new inkle loom (replacing an old one that wasn’t very well made).  An inkle loom is a board to which are attached a bunch of pegs.  Yarn, string or thread are wrapped around the pegs in various ways to create different lengths of warp threads to prepare it for weaving.  An inkle loom is used to weave belts, straps, book marks, shoe laces and similar items up to about 4 inches wide.  It’s very simple to use.  As far as equipment goes, it’s minimalistic….no shafts or pedals, and it warps up very quickly, so one can get to the weaving part in a timely manner.   And it’s just you, the pegs and the thread (yarn).  I’m liking that.  A lot.

I have also ordered an antique tape loom (or part of one, anyway).  it’s a wooden box with a heddle (board with slots & eyes) and a roller bar.  It works on the same principle as a back-strap loom, and it’s used to create the same items as the inkle loom – belts, straps, book marks, etc.  Tape looms were used in colonial America and up until some time in the 1800s. This one is coming from Maine and is missing its roller bar.  I look forward to repairing it and using it.  Something about the old wood its made of spoke to me.  I wish I knew its story – who made it, where they lived, who they were.  I wish I could tell them I’ll be using their loom and that I’ll take good care of it.

I still have my two rigid heddle looms, a 19″ Glimakra named Inga (whom you met in an earlier post) and her partner, a 12″ Ashford Knitters loom (as yet unnamed).  If I get a hankering to give the 4-shaft loom another shot, I have an old 4-shaft table loom in storage.

I’m going to sell the shiny new 4-shaft loom, which I have never used.  And I’m O.K. with that.  Actually, it’s a big relief .DSCN5307[1]


About fiberninja

fiber artist, writer, nun
This entry was posted in Cloth, Craft, Weaving and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to To Inkle And Beyond

  1. Libby says:

    One reason I love tapestry weaving is that it is fairly hastle free (though setting up my floor loom is a challenge). Lately I have been looking at my empty inkle loom and thinking it was about time I did some more inkle weaving – it is fascinating watching the pattern emerge. I’ve never tried a lucet, nor have I heard of a tape loom but I hope you are successful in repairing it and enjoy using it. Photos in due course please.

  2. fiberninja says:

    Thanks your your comments! I’ve been wanting to try a tapestry loom for quite a while now. I certainly will post pics of the tape loom once it’s up and going.

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