Re: Pairs of asmalyks

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Posted by Marla Mallett on April 04, 1999 at 16:13:28:

In Reply to: Re: Pairs of asmalyks posted by Wendel Swan on April 04, 1999 at 13:51:34:

Michael and others,

You asked about the differing amounts of time required for weaving a pair of asmalyks sequentially on one warp versus producing them separately on two different warps...And the advantages of one over the other.

1. When using a single warp, to insert heavy filler to accomodate the irregular shape, assure even warp take-up and thus ready the warp for beginning a second weaving, would require a total of 3-5 minutes at most.

2. To weave the pieces on separate warps, i.e. to wind the second warp, dress the loom, make a new set of heddles, etc. would probably require an additional 2-3 hours. We must also consider that extra warp length is required as there is considerable waste beyond the fell of the cloth and beyond the heddles (the extra length necessary to open a shed). This would be a serious waste of good long-staple wool suitable for warp use. Moreover, this extra wool had to be hand cleaned, combed, spun, and plied, adding a few more hours to the time above. Let's make a wild guess that the total extra time might be 5-6 hours, minimum.

No, I've never witnessed asmalyks being woven by tribal weavers. Have you? But I've done a good many shaped weavings myself, have had students do so, and am quite familiar with the ways that other contemporary weavers go about it. One need only apply a little logic to devise a workable methodology.

I've never seen asmalyks that were woven with the pile lying upward, and can't imagine why they would be woven upside down and the designs flipped.

Best wishes,

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