Sunday, 5 July 2015


The conclusion of "How Long Does It Take To Make A Blanket" covers the business side of production. Part 4 covered all the steps from completion of the weaving into making true cloth.

I don't want to end with one of the deadly final steps, so I'll cover that now. It is the matter of studio clean-up. I usually have a variety of weft selections on the floor or table, and the remainder need to be put away. Then there are the notes to enter into my notebook for reference, coffee mugs to take away, mug rings to wipe, and last but not least - dealing with the lint. Wool blankets produce quite a bit of lint all over and under the loom and bobbin-winding area, and cotton blankets have their own lint issues as well. This means a thorough vacuuming as a major part of the tidying up before I can face the next project.

Assuming that studio clean-up has been, or will be, carried out, all blankets are entered in my inventory spreadsheet with measurements. Any particularly long or short blankets are noted for pricing differences. I photograph each blanket, usually with a fairly general view of the pattern and then a close-up to show the weave and colour detail.  For example:

All items are posted on my blog if they're for sale, grouped by the labels on the right-hand side. This process enables anyone to see what I have available.

So how long does it take to make a blanket?  Well, a few hours to cover the warping process, about  three hours (or more) to weave, anywhere from half an hour to machine hem to four hours to twist fringes, then probably another hour to wash, press and check over thoroughly. Finally, measuring and photographing take up to another half hour per blanket. As well, any handspun I use (such as in the Wenger Sheep Farm blanket above) requires considerable time to spin, ply, wash and wind onto bobbins.

Added up, a handwoven blanket clearly takes time to produce. However, it is time well spent. When I learn how long my blankets last - whether for family, friends or customers - I feel very gratified knowing my time was well-invested in something being used and enjoyed for many, many years. And that appreciation is widely shared, which makes it even better.

Thanks for asking! :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment