My second goal and probably the most important is a further £8,000 or £10k in total to fund 3 x teaching looms. Small and foldable easily transportable 8 shaft floor looms made in the USA by Schacht. There are no comparable looms made in the UK and the Vat and Custom duty mount to a whopping 40% on top so these are not a cheap but essential piece of kit. They are the perfect size and scale for most folks from children to adults to comfortably weave while reaching the foot peddles.
why 3? well its the smallest number to make a group teaching setting, its a better learning experience for the student. I can grow this number hopefully when I'm up and running classes.
why 8 shafts? while I could go for the cheaper option of 4 shafts but I believe there is a gap in teaching for folks to learn the more complex aspects of intersecting warp and weft threads. That beautiful patterned fabrics are achievable quite easily, with a little tuition, for garment, accessory or household uses. I learned on 8 shafts first then progressed all the way to 24 these days hand looms are up to 40 shafts!
Why not cheaper table looms? I learned to weave at the Scottish College of Textiles on George Wood floor looms I never learned on table looms and besides its a whole body experience and once the loom is effectively "programmed"you don't really need to consider how the weave will work, how ends will lift and its easier then to concentrate on throwing the shuttle and making a length of cloth.
If you are still reading thank you for staying with me.
My next goal is £13k this will allow me to commission my own weaving yarn traceable from field to fabric. I am passionate about Scottish wool we have such a great resource that we are just not making the most of especially the naturally coloured wools – we cant help that coloured lambs are born, within the commercial wool production but these coloured fleece would “contaminate” the white wool production and as all industrial wool goes through a bleaching then dying to a flat regular colour demanded by the industry, fashion and retail and to be honest us as consumers. Finding a spinner that will make a relatively small batch of yarn from specific fleece isn’t easy these days. The supply trade is almost gone now in the uk as is the industry as a whole. I remember a time when every mill town had a spinner! – I guess that’s my motivation to teach new folks – I need a minimum of 40kg of both the beautiful coloured fleece and white so I can use the yarn to botanical dye for both my teaching and my own practice.
My next goal is £15k this will allow me to pilot community classes in education settings, healthcare and in horticulture. These mindful classes will focus on growing dye flowers, colouring natural fibres and weaving, giving every participant access to their own drop spindles and tapestry looms, for the duration of the class blocks and are reusable, as well as access to the larger floor looms and buying 3 x electric spinning 'wheels' these are digitally printed and so easy to use. I believe using new technologies will bring the ancient craft alive for a new generation and with the ease of use great results are possible for beginners giving them confidence to continue making, for me giving the best experience to them he student is paramount It's all about hands on making, concentrating on this one thing and letting every other thoughts disappear even for a short while, focussing not only on wellbeing but its about raising awareness that there is a thing called regenerative textiles, supporting Fibreshed Scotland. Once lesson plans and evaluations are complete this work has the potential to be rolled out over the region. This sum also includes dye equipment, table chairs etc for the garden workshop space.
My next goal is £20K. with this I can upgrade to a truly ecological greenhouse complete with water catchment and irrigation, ventilation and most excitingly a wind turbine and batteries so that my practice is self-sustaining power wise. oh I can't wait its just what I need. I am always conscious of the chemicals and water I use to dye and wash my raw materials and finished products, the textile industry has such a bad reputation on polutants here I can be certain that the products I put out into the world are not harming the world I live in in fact they are truly a soil to soil approach.
thank you for reading jan x