The education information on
this page has been graciously provided by Christa Gupta.
Christa produces chenille scarves in her studio based in Ohio,
USA. She previously had a website, www.theflyingshuttle.com/
The Apparel Search Company and
our viewers, greatly appreciate the kind donation of information
provided by Christa. Below you can find the educational
information that has been provided.
Chenille Scarves by The Flying Shuttle
This page describes the weaving
process for chenille scarves. The weaving process begins with
the loom. I weave most of my chenille scarves using this 24"
8-harness Leclerc floor.
Step 1 - Thread
First, I decide what color I want to work with. i've chosen a
beautiful royal blue chenille thread for this project. To ensure I
will be getting a soft and velvety scarf, I only use 100% rayon
Step 2 -
After selecting the color, I now need to measure how much thread
will be used. To accomplish this, I use a device called a warping
board which is used to measure the thread that will be held under
tension during weaving. Since it takes such a long time to set-up a
loom, I will warp enough thread to weave several scarves.
Step 3 -
Threading The Reed
Once the warp is complete, I move over to the front of the loom and
begin to thread the chenille through the reed. A reed is a steel
piece that fits into the beater of the loom. Reeds are similar to
combs in that they have dents or slits in which the thread passes
through. Common reed sizes are 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15 dents per inch.
Step 4 -
Threading The Heddles
Having threaded all the chenille threads through the reed, I'm now
ready to move to the back of the loom and begin threading the
heddles. Heddles are thin strips of metal with an eye in the center.
This process of threading the heddles is similar to threading a
needle. Every individual thread must pass through a heddle.
Step 5 - Attach
Thread To Back Apron Rod
At this point, all the chenille threads are hanging behind the
heddles in small, knotted groups. The next step is to take each
group of knots and attach them to the back apron rod.
Step 6 - Beam
The next step is to beam the warp (rolling the warp onto the back
beam). All of the warped thread must pass through the reed and the
heddles in order to get rolled onto the back beam. In order to
maintain even tension across the chenille thread, a heavy brown
paper is used to keep the layers of thread separated.
Step 7 - Attach
Thread To Front Apron Rod
Now that all of the chenille thread has been beamed and properly
tensioned, I now begin to tie the warp onto the front apron rod.
This procedure can be done using several different methods. I prefer
to lace the thread to the front apron using a strong carpet thread.
Step 8 - Add
Before I begin to weave, I need to add in a header for the fringe.
The header can be any type of fat thread, a strip of rag, or thin
sticks. Once the scarf is completed and taken off the loom, the
header will be removed from the scarf. The header also ensures that
all the warp threads are lying parallel to the beater and the reed.
Step 9 - Windup
After taking several hours to set-up the loom, I'm now very close to
the weaving step. Before I begin to weave I need to take some of the
royal blue chenille thread and windup a bobbin. The bobbin is then
placed inside a boat shuttle which is designed to glide back and
forth through the shed opening discussed in the next step.
Step 10 -
The actual weaving of the scarf can now begin. The shuttle is passed
back and forth through the shed opening (this is the space created
between the upper and lower threads). The shed opening is created by
pushing down with your feet on the treadles at the bottom of the
loom which then lifts the harnesses.
Step 11 -
In order to create the crossed weaving pattern, every other harness
is lifted after each pass of the shuttle by alternating which
treadle is engaged. I quickly get into a rhythm of moving my hands
and feet and a scarf begins to form. I must pass the shuttle through
the shed opening over 1,100 times in order to produce just one
Step 12 -
Finishing the scarf can sometimes be as time consuming as weaving
the scarf. Each scarf is hand fringed using an overhand knot. I
sometimes will hem the end of the scarves upon request, but most
people prefer the look and feel of loose fringe.
Step 13 -
After tying the fringe, the scarf goes through a 12 hour finishing
process in order to bring out the natural drape and velvety touch of
100% rayon chenille. Finally, no scarf is complete without a
Handwoven by Christa M. Gupta tag!
Step 14 -
The royal blue chenille scarf is now complete. I hope you have
enjoyed learning about the weaving process and the many steps that
are involved within it.
Thank you for using the Apparel Search website.