walking over broken glass

Why weave with a Jacquard loom?

Why weave with a jacquard loom? In a word, flexibility. The density is usually fairly fixed but the threads are not placed on the loom with one set design in mind. Rather they run across the loom in a regular order, leaving it to the lifting device to impose some sort of arrangement. So the loom can recreate the same design in different formats, or different design in the same format. (What is a jacquard loom). I first wove on a jacquard in a workshop run in 2007 in London by the European Textile Network. I used a design from broken glass, and have recycled this as background and main ground several times.

The starting point was a photo of our broken front door glass, I used a grey weft weaving damask style over a black warp. The jagged effect is familiar, we all break glass from time to time, and broken safety glass hangs together nicely, long enough to reveal amazing fracturing which picks up light.

pouch made from jacquard woven cotton
pouch made from jacquard woven cotton

When my own TC2 jacquard loom arrived, I revisited broken glass, overlaying it with curvy footprints. Inspired by Annie Lennox’s song ‘Walking on Broken Glass, I got so into the footprints that I made the marks within the footprints curvy foot print like themselves. This piece is about 32 cm wide.

picture of weaving 'Walking on Broken Glass'
Broken glass woven in cotton and linen

Next came hand drawn ‘Doves” who flew over broken glass. Cream, high twist wool over cream mercerised cotton, true self coloured damask. This piece is tricksy as the high twist wool draws in more tightly in the area of the doves, making the fabric irregular in width. About 30 cm wide and 2 metres long. Only a section is shown.

Doves over Broken Glass
Doves over Broken Glass

Then black and white silk and much heavier cotton and larger scale

Chunky satin silk and cotton in broken glass design semi wrap style
Chunky satin silk and cotton in broken glass design

This is a deflected double weave, silk and wool – same broken glass

fabric inspired by broken glass
Drapey fabric inspired by broken glass, silk and wool