3.3 the last part in this module focused on needle weaving, which is pretty much exactly as it sounds, similar to strip weaving you following the same techniques of warp and weave but this time you use thread rather than material to create texture and pattern.
The challenge was to create a six box grid making each area distinctive.
It is a bit of a fiddly technique to get used to and when the spacing between threads is tight or the threads thicker it can be difficult not to make errors but actually sometimes the odd slip up leads to an interesting, irregular pattern. I particularly liked playing around with the weave where you weave over multiple strands and also thinking about how you could use this technique to fill shapes rather than just as a background.
I did a couple of samples just to let me push this technique a bit so definitely one I’ll use in a piece in the future and didn’t always get the tension right so there is a bit of puckering on my second sample where I used linen threads but as a sample and record they’re ok for first attempts.
The questions posed to help you focus a bit on reflection and learning were
1. Looking at your sample, which areas are most successful and why? Which don’t work as well?
I particularly liked the third area on the second sample which was a really cheap grey wool with a slightly irregular weave, when I ironed this I had the heat setting up too high and some of the fibres burnt and broke but the end effect was really interesting and quite rough and scratchy. I also liked the fourth area on the first sample which gave a basket weave effect.
The areas I didn’t think worked were the fourth area on sample two – I tried to create negative space but was less happy with how this worked versus negative space with running stitch. I also didn’t like the fifth on sample one but that was more about the colour combination rather than the pattern of stitches
2. How can a particular effect you’ve discovered be developed further? Different colour combinations? Or a slight variation on the spacing?
Colour definitely but I’d also like to try using wool with a regular weave but much wider spacing between stitches and line. Also using weave to fill shapes – I can see lots of possibilities with this.
3. Can you see potential for needle weaving in your work? How might you incorporate it?
Yes – I can imagine using the technique to replicate brick or basket type textures but also the grey wool irregular idea would work well to replicate both man made structures like concrete or natural ones like tree trunks.