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  • Emma Baker

Adding a pop of colour with a handwoven cushion - an exciting commission

Updated: Jun 24

Introduction to a project weaving a handwoven cushion

I don’t often do commissions, so it was lovely to be asked to design the textile and create a pair of handwoven cushions to match a client’s rug to provide a pop of colour to their lounge. What was particularly interesting for me was that the colours of the rug were not colours I would naturally weave with or think of putting together. Having just visited and been inspired by the weaving workshops at Melin Tregwynt in Pembrokeshire, Wales I decided to revisit my doubleweave weaving, a weaving structure that I concluded would allow me to more distinctively pull out some of the rug colours.

Green and turquoise geometric handwoven merino cushions

The Final Cushions

Preparatory Work

After studying the colours in the rug I did some card windings which were shown to the client who chose her preferred colours. I then did a couple of sample weaves using my TabbyandTweed frame loom and these sample weaves were sent to the client. She chose the sample which included the blocks of colours as shown which matched the rug well. This was further confirmation that a doubleweave would be most likely to bring out the colours in the rug and give the effect that the client liked.

Painting, dressing the loom and weaving

Having chosen the colours, I tried to design the fabric. I painted a watercolour image to get a feel for how I might create the fabric and then set about designing the weave. My loom has 8 shafts and I needed to work with this. A greater number of shafts would have in some ways been easier I think. Choosing the two colours in each block (one for the outer square) and the other for the inner square took some time. I recognised a need for a contrast between these two colours for the two squares to be created. If the two colours were similar the two squares would not have been distinguishable. Once I had chosen the colours I measured the fine 2/17nm merino lambswool warp, dressed the loom, threaded the heddles and programmed the dobby bars according to the chosen design. After all of this work the two shuttles could then be used to weave the fabric – this part of the weaving process was actually the quickest.

close up view of some handwoven geometric square green cushion fabric

The cushions have now been made with a few spare metres of fabric to make further cushions which are now in my website shop.

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