New Online Weaving Publication - HEDDLECRAFT

Heddlecraft first edition

On January 25, 2016, a new weaving publication launched - Heddlecraft. This is a digital weaving magazine that is emailed as a PDF. Why is it digital? For a few reasons. First, it helps keep the cost down by eliminating printing and postage. Second, as more people use tablets and other portable digital devices, Heddlecraft can be downloaded and taken with them. Perhaps the most important reason is a digital format allows an article to be the length it needs to be to present a topic. Beginning with the March/April 2016 issue, .wif files will be distributed with the PDF for use by weavers with weaving software. Plus, the vision for Heddlecraft is to start incorporating links and video in the future.

One of the objectives of Heddlecraft is to provide an educational resource for weavers . . . from the adventure-seeking beginner to the most seasoned veteran. There will be six issues a year and each issue will present a weave or weaving technique in detail. An annual subscription is $19.99. The purchase of a single issue is $4.50.

The first issue of Heddlecraft, January/February 2016, presented advancing twills and included samples for four-, eight-, and 16-shaft looms. In addition, there were a couple of additional features, including Who's Your Tabby and an quick-and-easy method for weaving a header. The next issue will be March/April 2016 and will present corduroy and velveteen as the featured weave.

Heddlecraft is new for the weaving community. During the initial stages of development, the focus was on . . . and still is . . . educating weavers. The current focus of Heddlecraft is on weaves and weaving techniques for looms with shafts, specifically for four- and eight-shaft looms. Examples with more than eight shafts may appear in articles as time and space allow.

--Robin Spady

Sally Orgren on SAMPLING!!!!

Example of weaving samples by Sally Orgren

Photo by Sally Orgren

From left to right; the 1st row contains 4 needle woven samples to determine color choice; the 2nd and 3rd rows contain small samples all woven on the same white (inexpensive) warp to figure out structure considerations, and the top sample in row 3 used Sharpies® to simulate the planned warp colors; the 4th row shows the actual project warp with final weft sampling, and a section of the wet-finished fabric is overlaid on top of the larger piece.


On January 30, 2016 Peggy Hart talked about the importance of sampling at the New York Guild of Handweavers monthly meeting. She touched upon some of the “whys” of sampling, which sparked a post-meeting conversation between Tina Bliss and Sally Orgren. Listed below are some of the ideas that were shared in that conversation.

Bottom Line. 

  • Software is great, but as we heard from Peggy, it can’t tell the whole story about color interaction, interlacements that shift when taken off the loom, the finished hand of the textile, or take-up & shrinkage as it relates to specific fiber choice and chosen sett.
  • Sampling always produces a better textile than what I would have produced without sampling.
  • Sampling provides “data” for future work, increases my efficiency in project planning and reduces my failure rate, which all lead to a more confident and enjoyable weaving experience.


ONE: A Simple Sample:

  1. Needle-weave a sample on a narrow piece of cardboard. Wind a 1-2" warp around a 1.5-2" piece of stiff cardboard, and use a tapestry needle to insert the weft.
  2. Use a simple 2/2 twill in your needle weaving to represent floats if the actual treadling is too complicated to reproduce.
  • This small sample will give you an idea of the color interaction, interlacement, e.p.i. and p.p.i. for a minimal investment of your time and materials.
  • You can measure and then wet-finish the sample to determine a general sense of the shrinkage rate and hand of the textile.
  • Consider this method if you have very little material to spare, but keep in mind it also provides very limited information.

TWO: A Small Sample:

  1. Use a loom with the smallest amount of loom waste (especially if you have limited materials).
  2. Wind a warp 1-1.5 yards long, between 4-8" wide.
  3. Think about the “what ifs” before weaving. Alternate wefts? Alternate warp colors? (Can the warp be changed with a Sharpie® or fabric paint to articulate your emerging ideas?)
  4. Take a digital photo and view it on a larger screen. Changing perspective from the loom bench helps.
  5. Don’t rush sampling. Allow some time to weave one, then respond to the textile before weaving a second. (I usually sleep on it!)
  6. Feel free to rethread or resley if a better idea comes to you. A sample is not very wide, so it won’t take long!
  7. Measure the sample and wet-finish, recording your data.
  • This method will produce far more useable information than Method 1, for a slightly greater investment of your time.
  • When using a small table loom to sample, keep in mind the sett may need to be adjusted when the project is taken to a floor loom, as the beating is different between loom types.
  • Note: Rigid Heddle looms will not give as accurate information as a shaft loom, unless you are planning to complete the project on a RH loom.

THREE: The Most Accurate Sample:

  1. Wind a full-width warp, or add 1-1.5 yards to the project for sampling.
  2. Follow the same advice as for Method 2: consider the “what ifs”, take digital photos, don’t rush the process, rethread or resley if needed.
  3. For wet-finishing: if sampling on a wider warp, wash half of the sample and not the other, producing two "data points" for future projects.
  • The advantage of this method is that you will get the most accurate information for the loom and width (e.p.i., p.p.i., sett, take-up, and shrinkage), plus the hand of the textile.
  • The disadvantage is that this method takes more time to set-up if the project is wide, and will require more material to complete.

Sometimes I use a combination of all three methods:

If I am unfamiliar with the yarns, I may needle weave a sample. I always make a small sample on one of my table looms, and sometimes, I’ll add a little bit of warp to the beginning of the project to sample further.

What if I don’t want to waste my time or materials on sampling?

These samples and “what if” warps are never wasted!

Fabric that isn’t saved in my design notebooks becomes small items such as eyeglass cases, button covers, pin-cushions, sachets, notebook covers, wallets and purses, etc., for guild sales and goodie bags.

Photo below by Maury Logue

Two neckties were produced from this design process. One was entered into an exhibition called “cARTalog”, which challenged artists to produce artwork using discarded catalog cards from the University of Iowa libraries.

two neckties showing sampling process

Peggy Hart on Blankets, January 2016

Analyzing a blanket join

The January 2016 NYGH meeting was abuzz with excitement! We had a full house to see Peggy Hart discuss how to design a blanket. We had many new faces in the crowd. Welcome!

She brought terrific examples and a fascinating progression of woven samples showing her evolution to final design for a blanket. She starts with color sketches, structure ideas and weaves small samples on warps as short as 42 inches long (incl. loom waste) and narrow, some 6-8" wide. She documents dimensions, washes, remeasures and then calculates the amount of takeup and shrinkage to aid in the decisions for the final throw. The samples also advise on the hand of the fabric, and determine if more sampling is required to reach desired effects. The main message... PLAN, SAMPLE, SAMPLE, SAMPLE. Stay tuned for more info on SAMPLING....

Photos courtesy: Sally Orgren

Peggy Hart explaining samples

Photo of Peggy Hart with samples: Gail Gondek


  • a throw (48x72) should weigh about 2.5 lbs.
  • combine drafts
  • Do NOT use a detergent to wash. Suggestion: Biopac
  • for sticky warps, try hairspray
  • it's really okay to weave blankets in strips on smaller looms and join them together, either by hand or with a wide zig-zag

Some of her fiber sources:



Peggy Hart's blankest in cotton and wool
Examining Peggy's samples and discussion

2015 Holiday Party and Open House

Join us!
Try your hand at Lucet Braiding aka Russ Knotting, and create wonderful square cords that can be used for all sorts of purposes.

You can also participate in Circular Weaving, as an interesting variation on last year's mini tapestries.

And, if you are ready to be challenged a bit more, we will also be offering Ganutel Weaving, and make decorations or jewelry.

Meeting at The School of Visual Arts
214 East 21st Street, Room 703A
Noon to 4pm

Desiree Koslin donation to NYGH

The following items were donated by Desiree Koslin and have been added to our library. The Guild is thankful for this generous contribution.

Newsletters, Exhibition Catalogs and Magazines

  • Complex Weavers Medieval Textile Study Group newsletter—
    Has well documented samples and useful information
  • Handwoven magazine March 1981
  • Handweaver & Craftsman magazine 5 misc. issues
  • Interweave magazine 4 issues 1979-1981
  • The Weaver’s Journal 21 misc. issues 1979 – 1985 plus 4 duplicates
  • Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot magazine 21 issues 1973 – 1978
  • Threads magazine 16 misc. issues 1987 – 1990 plus 1 duplicate
  • American Craft magazine 17 misc. issues 1979 – 2000
  • Craft Horizons magazine 47 misc. issues 1956 – 1979
  • FiberArts magazine 10 misc. issues 1982 – 1998
  • Selvedge magazine Issues 1 – 12, minus #6 plus duplicate #9
  • The Medieval Dress and Textile Society newsletter 1994 – 2006
  • Directory of Weavers & Spinners Guilds 1984 – 85
  • 1988 – 89 Guide to Craft Galleries & Shops
  • Crafts magazine May/June 1974 – May/June 1982
  • Textile The Journal of Cloth and Culture 6 issues March ’04 – Fall ‘05
  • Studies in the Decorative Arts The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts

    20 misc. issues 97/98 – 06/07
  • Surface Design Journal 4 misc. issues Summer ’94 – Summer ‘06
  • Dimensions Craft/Artisanales magazine June/July 1974
  • ArtCraft magazine Dec ’79/Jan ‘80
  • American Visions The Magazine of Afro-American Culture Oct. ‘88
  • Artistic Handicraft and Popular Art Manufacture in Czechoslovakia exhibition catalog
  • Threads of History exhibition catalog
  • Linneboken pamphlet in Swedish?
  • Hudson Valley Weavers & Spinners newsletter 1998-2001


  • Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing, Lavonne Brady Axford
  • American Woven Coverlets, Carol Strickler
  • The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving, Mary Meigs Atwater
  • Contemporary Handweaving, Ruth Overman and Lula Smith 2 copies
  • Early American Weaving & Dyeing, J. and R. Bronson
  • Hand Weaving and Cloth Design, Marianne Staub
  • Weaving A Handbook for Fiber Craftsmen, Shirley E. Held
  • Hand-Loom Weaving, Luther Hooper, 1910, Great Britain—
    This old book has lots of complex technical information for advanced weavers.

Warp Painting (or how to make a bamboo scarf out of a sow's ear)

The weaving highlight of my summer was taking Warp Painting with Su Butler at the MAFA (Mid-Atlantic Fiber Arts) Workshop Weekend. Su is an amazing teacher and brought some of her beautiful work to show us. You can see some of it on her website .

As preparation for the class, Su had us wind 6 warps of cotton, rayon, silk and wool so we would get a feel for how the Procion dyes interacted with the different fibers. For most of the warps we laid them out on a table and used foam brushes to push the dye into the yarn. Where one color met another, you could push the colors toward each other to get a third color. After it was done, we rolled them up in plastic wrap and steamed them for 45 minutes. The real surprise was unwrapping them when they cooled. You never knew how much more the dyes would meld together and sometimes the results were quite unexpected.

One warp, though, was set aside for surface design. We stretched the 12" by 3.5yd warp tightly between two raddles so it was flat enough to be able to paint a pattern or design on it. Some people did circles, squares and abstract shapes while a few others did flowers, birds and landscapes. Here's the story of my attempt.

I started with 8/2 bamboo in pale gray and painted a long curvy line with circles in navy blue. There was a contrast between the two colors while I was painting it, but after the warp dried the navy blue had lightened quite a bit. (Left photo above.)

My thought was to use the gray as the weft in an undulating twill to mimic the curves of the design. As you can see this lightened the painting considerably. I tried a few other weft colors but nothing was working so I kept going with the gray weft. (Right photo above.)

Taken off the loom and washed, the scarf just looked blah! (Left photo below) What to do?

Su had shown some scarves she had overdyed after it was woven. Then I remembered Terry Henley had brought to Show & Tell a few years ago a beautiful wall hanging of fall leaves painted on directly on the warp. Hmm, maybe I could something similar. I once took a class at the Houston Quilt Show on painting fabric with Tsukineko inks.I still had two dozen bottles of ink just waiting for a momen like this. I selected several blues and teals and started painting assorted swirls, lines and stars. (Middle photo)

The new design was nice and bright, but once again it was much more subtle when washed. I'm happy with the final result - it just took a while to get there! (Right photo) Where did they ever get that silk purse and sow's ear saying anyway??!?

Over 75 scarves to the Partnership for the Homeless

The New York Guild of Handweavers just donated over 75 scarves, all handwoven by our members in honor of our 75th anniversary, to The Partnership for the Homeless! Thank you to Soraya, Ria and Carol and all the weavers who participated in this. #partnershipforthehomeless #nyguildofhandweavers #handwoven #handmadeeverything

Donation of scarves to the PArtnership for the Homeless

Call for Artists

Canadian, international, established, young and emerging textile and fiber artists as well as professionals working in the field of textiles are invited to submit proposals for LaTriennale Internationale des Arts Textiles en Outaouais 2016, in the categories Textile Art Installations, Exhibitions, Workshops & Master Classes, Conferences, Documentary Films, and Community Projects. For complete information, including application forms, visit the website at The deadline is November 25, 2015.

Daryl Lancaster is Awesome!

Daryl Lancaster wearing her handwoven  garment

The October program for the NYGH featured fiber artist (and much more--including funny, and delightful) Daryl Lancaster, shown wearing a creation sewn from handwoven fabric. The topic was "Photographing Your Work".

She featured an overview of:

  • using your camera
  • setting up lights
  • image editing software
  • tips for submitting to publications
  • useful references for more information

After the meeting she offered her Monograph "Photographing Your Work" for sale to the members. If you missed it, you can find it here.

Link to her blog
Link to her website
Find her weaving/sewing handwoven videos on Interweave

Monograph Photographing Your Work
Daryl Lancaster Monographs

NYGH 2015 Swatch Project

Guild swatch samples

The Guild has a large Swatch Library that is about to get larger.

Sample donations have out paced the ability to catalog them and make them available to Guild members. There is a backlog of about 100 beautiful swatches from 2 to 16+ shafts, of many fibers, patterns and colors. These swatches come from Guild members, other guilds, and conferences such as MAFA and NEWS. There are also some duplicate samples from Pandora’s Box. These photos show just a few of these wonderful swatches.

We will be identifying the swatches by structure, number of shafts used, yarns used, and weaver, or as much of this information as we have. The swatches will be attached to a record sheet with their information and assigned a Binder Letter and sample number. An index card with this information will be the check-out card.

—Carie Kramer

An example of the surface textures of samples


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