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Soumak Metal Weaving


#1

Hello Everyone,

I am a daily reader of the Orchid Forum and a newbie hobbiest to
metal working jewelry. I purchased the wonderful book “Textile
Techniques in Metal” by Arline M. Fisch and am attempting to weave
in the Soumak technique.

Does anyone know if it is necessary to compress each line of weft as
it is added and if so, with what tool? Are there any tips to keeping
the design even? I have read the “Introduction to Weaving with Sheet
and Wire” by Barbara Berk but need a little more instruction.

Thanks so much in advance.

Karen
@Karen_Dandrea


#2
Does anyone know if it is necessary to compress each line of weft
as it is added and if so, with what tool? 

I saw Mary Lee Hu demo this technique at the recent SNAG conference,
and I believe that she pushed the weft down each row at a time using
her fingers. I’ve been trying out the technique myself, and so far
that works well to keep the design tight and even.

Best wishes with weaving!
Victoria
Victoria Lansford
http://www.victorialansford.com


#3

Karen,

When weaving rugs using the soumak technique, generally you do a row
or two of wrapped warp threads and then a normal weft shot that goes
over and under, to hold the knots in place and stabilize the
structure. Because the yarn is elastic to some extent, you can pack
these normal weft shots tight enough so they disappear between the
rows of wrapping. With metal, this is much more difficult. You may
need to forget the normal weft shots, do them in a basket weave (over
and under two warp wires at a time) or space your warp wires further
apart.

For packing rows closer together, use a heavy wooden or plastic
comb. A metal fork would work as well, but may leave dents on your
wires.

Practice with some thin copper wire. With practice you will develop
a rhythm to your weaving and the rows will become straighter and
straighter. Concentrate on keeping the tension on your weft wire
constant.

Keep your weft wire wrapped on a flat shuttle and only unwrap just
enough to do your weaving. Working with a long piece of wire will
tend to work harden the loose end more than you want.

Steve Brixner


#4

Hi Karen,

My soumak wire weaving is rather dense, so I use the rounded side of
my needle nose pliers to compact it down. To keep my dangling wire
organized and neat I use light weight plastic bobbins called EZ Bobs.
It is easy to wind and unwind the wire as needed. I have found them
in yarn and bead stores. I just looked on the internet and they are
available online.

Happy weaving!
Jeanie Pratt


#5

Dear Jeanie,

I am interested in learning to make my own chains using crochet and
weaving techniques. Can you recommend any really good books that will
teach me the basics and enable me to progress from there?

Many thanks,
Helen


#6
I am interested in learning to make my own chains using crochet
and weaving techniques. 

Art Jewelry had a nice clear article on Viking knit (really, the
same as crochet, especially if continued as a single-loop pattern
instead of doubled to make Viking-- makes sense when you go through
the instructions) March 2005.

Noel


#7

Helen, I have two wonderful books that teach weaving, knitting, and
other metal techniques. They are “Fabulous Woven Jewelry” by Mary
Hettmansperger, Lark Books, 2005 and "Textile Techniques in Metal"
by Arline M. Fisch, Lark Books, 1996. Karen


#8

Hi Karen, the classic metal weaving book, as others have mentioned is
Textile Techniques in Metal. For chain making I mostly have used
knitting. Some other textile techniques that I have tried in wire
are too stiff to make a good chain. Arline Fisch has a newer book out
titled Crocheted Wire Jewelry. It also covers some other textile
techniques. Some of the crochet techniques described in the book are
actually knit structures. I noticed that there are now some books
out on knitting wire, and might be worth checking out. Best of luck!

Jeanie