Sunday, 5 July 2015


Part 3 of "How Long Does It Take To Make A Blanket" is the actual weaving.  To me, the weaving is just the mid-point of the cloth production process.  Parts 1 and 2 described all the preparation, and then there's much more to do after the cloth is woven.

Once the weaving has begun and any errors in threading or sleying are corrected, all the weaver needs is plenty of bobbins ready for the shuttles.  For a series of blankets or towels, I'll begin with a simple set of colours, often from bobbins left over from warping.  The ends of the cotton tubes I use even fit into a large shuttle and make a smooth sound and lovely whirring feeling in my hand as the fibre unwinds and the cloth proceeds.

It takes about 2-3 hours to weave a blanket.  That's using only one shuttle at a time and if all goes perfectly well, which it does ... now and then.  The cotton blankets can also really weave up quickly. The rhythm of the harnesses moving up and down, the beater pushing the new thread into the cloth, my body rocking back and forth on the bench to catch the shuttle for a wide cloth - it's wonderful.

So there's the simple answer, but probably leaning towards three hours.  More complicated weave structures take longer, particularly if I'm using two shuttles at once or making many colour changes.  Each blanket has had a part of the planning and warping steps, and then once the warp is all woven there is quite a bit more to do.  That's coming later.

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