​© Emi Fujisawa 2019

Hand Weaving

Emi wanted to make her own fabrics and researched all the steps needed to arrive to a finished product starting from the natural raw materials, including weaving. She designs her weaving inspired by traditional techniques and elements from nature.

Several steps need to be followed to weave fabrics, starting calculating how many meters of thread (called yarn in weaving) of each colour that she might want to use would be needed to set the warp in the loom. The warp is the set of yarns stretched in place on a loom before the weft is introduced during the weaving process. Warp and weft are the two basic components used in weaving to turn yarns into fabric. The lengthwise or longitudinal warp yarns are held stationary in tension on a frame or loom while the transverse weft is drawn through and inserted over-and-under the warp.

 

After the calculations, the yarns needed for the warp are measured on a warping mill, sometimes over 20 meter in length. Thousands of yarns need to be counted without miscounting and then have to be set at the loom separated by groups where they will be winded at the back side of the loom.

After winded, the yarns need to be put through the holes of the heddles in a particular order. Each thread in the warp passes through a heddle, which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft. Afterwards, the yarns of the warp go through the reed and finally tied to the front side of loom.

To start weaving, the heddles that are used to open the warp have to be linked to a set of pedals. By pressing the different pedals the warp is opened and allows to throw a shuttle with the weft across the warp, which is after wards tightened with the reed. This need to be repeated thousands of times to produce the woven fabric. ​Some weavers describe the weaving process as a relaxing time, but Emi keeps her mind busy as well during this stage, as she starts weaving with a rough design for the weft that keeps evolving as she weaves.

 

One of her most respected weavers in Japan told her that if you made a mistake at the initial stages, you will gradually be doing more mistakes afterwards while weaving, so everything needs to be perfect. She respects traditional techniques but she also has developed her own style of weaving.

​To fully understand the weaving process she also built up her own table loom, in which all the movements of the heddles needs to be done by hand instead of using the pedals.

Emi has developed her own techniques for weaving with silk and copper, researching all the process from the cocoons to spinning the yarns in Japan and uses many different types of silk with dye with her own recipes of natural dyes. She has also used copper in her weaving introducing new possibilities for her creations.

​Copper Weaving

Silk Weaving

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