Re: Pairs of asmalyks

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Posted by Wendel Swan on April 04, 1999 at 17:12:24:

In Reply to: Re: Pairs of asmalyks posted by Marla Mallett on April 04, 1999 at 16:13:28:

Dear Marla,

Your response raises some very interesting questions about the ways in which all weavers may approach their work.

Except in films and photos, I have never seen anything being woven (unless maybe you count tall tales). That's one reason that I value your opinions and respect your experience.

Please allow me to follow up with some questions. You posted in part:

"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."

This thread somehow worked its way into pairs of asmalyks and whether one of a pair might be woven "upside down." As you and I agree, even if asmalyks were woven sequentially on the same warps, there is no reason that any would be woven "upside down."

But your comments about weaving more than one object on established warps would apply to any kind of weaving, not just asmalyks. I can imagine that there are many objects that could be woven in multiple units and economies of scale could thus be realized. As I said earlier, I know of Chinese mats and small Persian mats being woven this way, but I have no idea how widespread this practice may be among other groups. If we learn that it is not uncommon that objects are woven sequentially on the same warps, it might influence our notions about the singularity of some of them.

I have never seen any image of more than one object being woven on the same warps, but that really doesn't mean much. You've been in the field with weavers. Others have as well.

Perhaps I am making too much of a deal out of this relatively unimportant matter, but often we learn the most when we inquire about common assumptions that may not turn out to be correct. I have always assumed that objects were woven nearly invariably one at a time. My real question is: Do we have reason to think otherwise?



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