You are browsing the The Weave Shed archives for May, 2012

Weave Talks – ASF Shetland

Edina Szeles and Fiona Daly are visiting Shetland this summer for  residencies. ASF Shetland will be holding an open day on the 22nd July from 10am with talks by the weavers from 2pm. If any weavers would like to join in by Skype, please contact Andy on or pay us a visit in Yell.

ASF Shetland are also pleased to be part of Wool Week in October and will be hosting a Wool and Weave talk on October 13th. The evening will start at 6pm for coffee/ tea and a look around ASF Shetland. Booking is essential and places are limited. £10/ 8 This talk will also be available free to watch online; please contact us for details or see our website: for details, coming in September.

Ann Richards, Lotte Dalgaard & Other Weavers: Exhibition Review – Stacey Harvey Brown

A celebration of textural textiles to accompany the launch of Ann Richards’ book “Weaving Textiles That Shape Themselves”, and Lotte Dalgaard’s related book Magic Materials to Weave, is currently on show at the Handweavers’ Studio and Gallery in Finsbury Park, London until 13th June 2012.

After exploring both structure and high twist yarns for over twenty years, Ann Richards was finally persuaded to put her considerable talent and research into a book. Richards came to weaving from a biological background, and this science-based research discipline has been the ground-work for her explorations into this fascinating field. Systematically and rigorously, structure, yarn, and elements of yarn construction have been considered, utilised and combined to create a collection of incredible textural fabrics. Richards does the brain work so that the fabrics shape themselves once off the loom and finished.

The exhibition contains many of the fabrics that have charted Richards’ progress in this enquiry, including some that were originally featured in Ann Sutton’s influential Ideas in Weaving. There are some handlooms set up with sample warps that visitors to the exhibition can try their hand at to see for themselves the amazing results that come with the combinations of active and passive yarns, and weave structure.

Lotte Dalgaard from Denmark has also been investigating in the same field for many years, but with a fashion fabric approach. In collaboration with Danish fashion designer Ann Schmidt, she develops cloth that can be manipulated around the female form to create pleated garments in various silhouettes. Utilising the shape-fitting propensity of the fabrics to mould around the body, and to gather in pleats where the fabric is relaxed, ingenious forms can be made using non-traditional shaping, often without cutting into the cloth.
The exhibition features many examples of these two accomplished weavers’ work and is supplemented with pieces from weavers from around the world – other contributors to Richards’ book, and the exhibition, include Junichi Arai, Reiko Sudo, Deidre Wood and many others from the UK, US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Ann Richards – Weaving Textiles That Shape Themselves

Just add water –  textiles that shape themselves

Weaving Textiles That Shape Themselves sounds like a contradiction in terms, but this sets out to show how textiles can do precisely that: shape themselves. Good design, in any medium, cannot simply be imposed – it depends also on what materials and structures can do. The designer may choose what elements to put together, but their subtle interplay will determine what happens, sometimes in surprising ways. Woven textiles show this ’self-organizing’ tendency to an extreme extent, especially when there are strong contrasts of material and structure. Textures emerge during wet finishing, as fibre, yarn twist and weave structure interact. The most dramatic effects are possible with high-twist (crepe) yarns and these form the main of the book.

Crepe yarns can create their three-dimensional effects because the stress of the spinning process gives them a lot of energy. This is released when the fabric is washed – as water is absorbed, spiralling movements of the yarns form crinkles and pleats, giving highly textured, elastic fabrics. Yarn twists and weaves can also be varied across the fabric, so rectangular pieces change shape when washed. ‘Loom-to-body’ clothing, needing minimal cutting and sewing, can emerge from a simple change of yarn or structure – textiles really can shape themselves.

Textiles by a variety of designers and artists are included – Junichi Arai, Reiko Sudo, Ann Sutton, Lotte Dalgaard and many others.

The book is published by Crowood Press ( Price: £25.

There will be a book launch/exhibition at Handweavers Studio in London on Thursday 17th May 2012. This will be a joint event with Lotte Dalgaard, whose book “Magiske Materialer” (published in Danish in 2006) will come out this year in an English Edition (“Magical Materials To Weave”). Textiles included in both books, together with new work, will be on display.

Handweavers Studio and Gallery
140 Seven Sisters Road
London N7 7NS

For details of the location and more information about this event see the website:

Exhibition & New Books: Ann Richards & Lotte Dalgaard





























Textiles: Guild / Education Exchange Grants

The Journal for Weavers, Spinners & Dyers is pleased to announce a new grant scheme to foster the exchange of skills and knowledge between Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers and UK Universities and Colleges involved in textiles.

Today’s textile students are all potentially future Guild members and Journal readers. They can benefit from the considerable expertise that Guilds have to offer. Equally, Guilds can get an insight into current issues and trends in textile design through engagement with educational institutions and their students.

Although applications will only be accepted, and funding provided, via Guilds that are members of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, we are keen to make Universities and Colleges with textile departments aware of the scheme so that they can form or strengthen their links with local Guilds and consider what sort of activity might be mutually beneficial.

Further details
Guilds will be invited to apply for a grant from the Journal for educational work to cover expenses such as travel, materials and tutors’ fees.
In total, the Journal has up to £500 in grants available, which could potentially support a number of projects.

Proposed activity might, for example, include
• Demonstration and discussion of specific weaving techniques with examples from staff, students and Guild members.
• A spinning demonstration and workshop provided by the Guild for students. A talk for the Guild by students on some of the yarns, materials and processes they have been using.
• A one-day workshop on a specialist dye technique for Guild members and students using expertise from the Guild and facilities at the university. Techniques might include use of natural dyes, warp painting, ikat, wax resist and so on.

These are just examples however: we expect proposals that are relevant to the particular interests and skills of Guilds and the educational institutions they will be working with. The proposed activity must take place during the period February – June 2013.

If you don’t already have Guild contacts, you can find a list of Guilds at

Information about the grants scheme and how Guilds can apply will be published in the Autumn issue (243) of the Journal.

The Journal is the magazine of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers. Published quarterly, it covers a wide range of textile subjects, including articles on historic textile techniques and cutting edge modern design. We offer reduced subscription rates to both educational institutions and individual students.

TextileMatters: Structure & Surface


Images L-R: Ann Richards; Jun Tomita; Lotte Dalgaard; Ptolemy Mann, Lotte Dalgaard; Ptolemy Mann; Ann Richards

A Bath School of Art & Design, Textile Research Centre symposia event
Celebrating international contemporary woven textiles practice

Speakers: Ann Richards (UK) / Lotte Dalgaard (Denmark) /
Ptolemy Mann (UK/US) / Jun Tomita (Japan)

Coinciding with a number of exciting publications and exhibitions by these four leading international weavers, this mini-symposium will celebrate very personal yet inter-related approaches to woven textiles practice – From deep research into material and structure to create textured and shaped cloths, to the extensive use of traditional and evolved dying and colouring techniques for contemporary applied art and design.

In conjunction with The Handweavers Studio & Gallery (London), the event will include book signing of new titles by the speakers, as well as the chance to purchase specialist weaving materials. Chrome Yellow Books will also be offering a fantastic range of textile and related titles.

Convened by Tim Parry-Williams, Senior Lecturer Textiles [Woven], Bath School of Art & Design, this is the inaugural event of the new Textile Research Centre at Bath Spa University’s Corsham Court Campus.

Date: Saturday 19th May 2012, 10am – 4pm
Location: Bath Spa University, Corsham Court, Corsham, Wilshire, SN13 OBZ

Tickets (to include light lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments):
Full rate £45 / Students (NUS registered) £20

Booking (BY MONDAY 14TH MAY):
Contact: Adele Milton (Bath School of Art & Design, Reception)
Tel: 01225-875533 or Email:

Local information – Bath Spa University, Corsham Court Campus webpage:

Travel to Corsham:
By rail – Chippenham (nearest) / Bath Spa + Taxi (bus services from Bath Spa)
By car – Public car parks in the town a short walk from the Court campus

Recommended accommodation:
Corsham – Guyers House
Bath – Holiday Inn Express
Bath – Hilton