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Sophomore Class at High School of Fashion Industries -2016

This year, our fifth, there was a change in the program. Two new teachers in the Fashion Department wanted a more integrated study of weaving to go along with the rest of their teaching. At the end they wanted the students to come away with samples that they would be using to build a kind of portfolio. This was certainly more rigorous than our class had been in the past. For that reason we changed the scope of the class as well as the name. It is now called "Introduction to Weaving".

We began by asking the students to try and figure out how to use the loom. They pretty much got that the beater had to go back and forth but the lifting of the shafts was not so easy. We then proceeded with our usual PowerPoint presentation showing the parts of the loom and some weaving terms. We even included a brief video that showed how to throw the shuttle and beat in the weft. After the PowerPoint presentation we showed them how to load up their shuttles. Warp and weft at this point were all 8/4 cotton rug warp.

At the looms we had fixed diagrams for plain weave and 2/2 twill. They began with the plain weave and when ready, moved on we switched to twill.

All of the looms (15 four shaft looms and 2 eight shaft looms) were all threaded with straight draw. We would vary the results by passing around different lifting plans for each type of loom. After plain weave and 2/2/twill we showed how to do what we called "pattern weaving". This was really a unique lifting sequence. The students seemed to like this a lot especially as we started introducing a wider variety of yarn.

On the final day we cut the weavings off of the loom and asked them to select out of all they had woven a swatch that would go into their project. Fray Check was used to keep the swatches from falling apart. All in all the two classes we taught seemed to have had a richer experience than what we had given until now. Below are some comments by the students unedited.

"During this Weaving Project, I learned that the thread has to go diagonally across warp before changing the sheds and then beat the thread with the beater. Also I learned how to made up my own lifting plan, advance the loom, and how to use two shuttles at the same with two different threads. I found the whole process interesting, I was finding the easier and faster ways to hold and throw shuttle while I was weaving. This workshop help me better understand how fabric is made, it needs a lot of effort, time, and concentration. It is very important not to pull the weft thread to tight, or else the width of the fabric will be smaller than what it is suppose to be. I am pleased with the fabric swatch I produced but I still want to make it better. The challenge I faced is when I was making my last swatch and time almost ran out so I worked as fast as possibles and finished in time. I am successful in gaining the knowledge and experience of weaving to better understand how the fabrics are made." -W. Q. Y.

"What I learned from the weaving workshop is how to create different patterns with actual fabric which was excited because I had fun creating new patterns with different types of fabric textures and patterns that I probably would have never figured I would like. What I found interesting from this weaving workshop was that when I was creating my patterns I noticed that there was an endless variations of weaving and all of them had their own unique pattern. Also what I found interesting when participating in the workshop was that it was so easy to make. In addition, this did help me better understand how fabric is made; now I know how clothing like denim, scarves and etc. are produced and created. I was very pleased with the fabric swatches that my partner and I worked together to produce made me think of creative designs that I could use in my fashion project. The struggle I faced when creating my swatches was not having enough choices of blue yarn to use in my swatch because my project was based on blue hues, however I overcame my difficulties when the instructor suggested that I use another color that would coordinate and give a pop of color in my fashion project so I chose yellow as a bright accent of color to incorporate in my designs. I was also successful with creating numerous amounts of patterns and colors I could use in my mood board." -J. L.

We are grateful to the teachers, Ms. Parisse and Ms. Ricci for their help and encouragement.