May all your warps be pregnant

May all your warps be pregnant

Lesley Jackson‘s book Alastair Morton and Edinburgh Weavers is a fascinating and inspiring read about the man and the company based first in Edinburgh and latterly in Carlisle. The Edinburgh Weavers and Morton produced an important array of textiles including designs by modern artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. Both the V&A and the Courtauld Insititute Design Library have collections of the work.

The book tells of the time Masterweaver Peter Collingwood spent as an weave apprentice with Alastair Morton in the 1950s.  Morton would hand a warped loom over to Collingwood who would spend a week trying out all sorts of different ways to weave it. The master would study it closely before focussing in on particular section. He would then request Collingwood to weave five yards of fabric like the favoured section. Collingwood described Morton as a maker of pregnant warps.

Its a good way of thinking of a warp, ready to reveal something marvellous and welcome, as spring promises to push up new growth of all sorts. Sample weaving is a treat. The photo above is the same tencel warp as in this earlier post, same set up and threading. A fine turquoise weft wool and a thicker red weft weave in blocks and float on the back of the fabric in turn. On wet finishing this has shrunk gorgeously to make a randomly regular texture.

A warp contains all sorts of possibilities, the weaver’s job to entice them out.

New weaving classes start on Saturday afternoon 28th March (table looms) and tablet weaving starts on Tuesday evening 31st March. Looking forward to the enticing out.

You may like to know The Journal for Weavers Spinners and Dyers produced a special Peter Collingwood Edition in 2009.

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