January 2021 Ask Me Anything

Welcome to the January Ask Me Anything blog post!

I thought this would be a good way to share a little bit of what goes into running a solo weaving studio from the North East of Scotland. You can ask me anything from the world of textiles, from questions about colour and inspiration to the slightly less fun but just as important business side too! You can submit questions for next month's blog on the first of each month through my Instagram Stories or by posting in the comments below.

Photos of your loom!?

Quite a few people asked to see more images of my main loom this month so I've included a gallery above of a variety of views and angles. It's tricky to take good photos of the whole loom as it's pretty big but hopefully you can get a sense of how it looks from these.

Can a similar weaving effect be achieved on a weft-faced fabric?

It can! When I was at university I spent part of my final year investigating how to create flowing lines in handwoven fabrics and using weft-face patterns was one of the outcomes. The fabric ended up being much denser than the technique I use now but visually they had a similar effect. Experimentation is always the best way to learn and time trying out new techniques or inventing your own is never a waste!

What technique do use use for your throws?

I design all of my own patterns from scratch in the studio. I have a multi shaft loom so with the throws I can really take advantage of having a larger canvass to work with and put all 32 shafts to work!

Do you have US distribution?

I don't currently have any stockists out-with the UK but once the nightmare that is Brexit has calmed down a bit it will be something I'll be moving forwards with.

Due to current Brexit regulations I'm not able to post anything abroad, hopefully this is a temporary measure that won't last for too long and the online shop will be open for everyone again soon!

What type of loom do use?

I have a few different looms at the moment but the one I use for the vast majority of weaving is an AVL Looms A-Series from California. I've found it to be almost a hybrid between a handloom and commercial loom. It's great for bespoke, small pieces but can also handle producing long lengths of fabric, the longest warp I've done so far on it was 60 metres with no issues.

I would love to see weaving videos if that's possible?

This is a video of the Shoreline and Rockpool collections being woven last summer. They're double cloth designs so if you watch closely you should be able to see the shuttles changing yarn colour as they shoot past.

I am really lucky to have been able to buy a second hand loom with double shuttle boxes which I haven't yet used. Is it easy to use them? I see you using them really competently here.

That's an exciting way to start the new year! I learnt to weave on a loom with a triple shuttle box so moving to a double shuttle box was a bit of relief! I try to swap hands between pulling the fly shuttle to minimise strain on my wrists and keep a fairly slow and steady rhythm. It's definitely a technique that you'll get quicker at the more you try it!

What is something you are looking forward to exploring this year?

This year I'm really excited about exploring new techniques on the loom especially looking at how tapestry weaving styles can be incorporated into traditional shaft loom designs and patterns. I've been using the lockdown studio closure time to experiment and am really enjoying the results so far! It's quite different from my usual style but it's nice to be able to weave something thats not for a profit and is instead purely for my own enjoyment. I've started a second instagram profile for these pieces and for some of my photography too which you can find and follow at @lucyhaywardstudio if you'd like to keep up to date!

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