Saturday, July 15, 2017

Getting ready for MAFA 2017

8-H 4-color double weave parallel ovals

The countdown has begun

The MidAtlantic Fiber Conference's (MAFA) biennial weekend workshop is days away and my mind is full of plans and preparations. 

In large part, that's because I'm one of the volunteers working to make this a memorable event. MAFA is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization and dozens of people on its Conference Team has been working for two years to make this regional event the best ever. Yes, planning started when the last conference ended. I know there will be unexpected complications, but it won't be for lack of effort.



Have loom, will travel

I'm also preparing for my workshop, Weaving in a Parallel Universe, with Linda Hartshorn. I expected amplified craziness preceding the event, so I warped my loom last month. And then I prepped my loom for travel. 

Reed secured in beater.

I have a vintage 8-harness Schacht table loom with a 24 x 26" footprint. We all know that most table looms--especially the vintage variety--are portable, but portability is not their strong suit. Here's how I have made my table loom ready for transport.


My husband outfitted my table loom for transport by attaching a handle on one side of the castle. That helps with picking it up, but when it's warped and ready for weaving, there are other concerns.


For transporting a warped loom like mine, I see three primary points that need protection: The reed, the warp, and the beater.

Stabilized warp on back beam

Reed

  • To secure the reed in the middle of the beater and protect the warp, I use a strip of soft knit fabric. I fold the fabric in half around one side of the beater and twist the fabric several times on each side of the reed before securing it on the other side. 
  • I often use such strips of knit fabric for headers, any fabric, rope or even a bungee would work.

Warp 

  • I use the soft knit fabric to keep the warp from moving on the back beam--and on the front beam if there is nothing woven to stabilize it. 
  • I made a cover for my loom, but the underside is still open. I will stuff some soft plastic dry cleaner bags around the vulnerable beams. No cover? I'd use a blanket or a soft plastic sheet over the front and back beams to protect the warp during travel.

Beater

  • I use two small or one medium size bungee to secure the beater against the castle. (I used one in the photo below.)
Beater secured with a bungee
Loom covered and ready to go











I'll also bring my stand, which my husband also made, and a stool that puts me at the right working height. And I'll bring a utility cart to move it from my car to the workshop location. 


And there it will stay until it's time to go home.

2 comments:

  1. I used a table pad around my loom to protect it and the warp - got the biggest size and cut it down. Looks weird but my guess is it will work - and its waterproof. I am also bringing an antique folding wooden chair which is the perfect height for weaving on Lady Ada. Yes, I named my loom.

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  2. Sounds like a perfect solution. Looking forward to meeting you and Lady Ada!

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