Weaving

Unicorn Shawl: first warp of the year

Haven’t posted much these past months, I’ve been incredibly busy doing stuff and now I can finally relax and think about some new project for 2018.

I spent December making a top secret collab project with a local mill; the samples are done, packed and ready to be shipped…can’t wait to share with you all the result of this collaboration!

Few days ago I bought some new lovely wool yarns from Campolmi filati (yarn shop in Florence, check it out!) and I just had to try them out immediately! So, I set up my floor loom with this fine, extra warm wool in 3 different colors: a mixture of pink and lilac.

It reminded me of a fairy tale princess’s castle or fancy unicorn hair. I decided to make a shawl for myself as I never weave anything for myself really! The pattern is a combination of twill and tabby weave and I used with mohair as weft in combination with the wool I used for the warp.

After finishing this looong scarf (1,70 m without fringes) I decided to play with the rest of the warp and so I made another short scarf, this time adding some sparkly yarn to the weft combo, and some pink pouches.

This small collection of fabrics is all inspired by fairy tales and little girl’s’ dreams….all the different shades of pink you could possibly imagine were used in combination with super fancy-sparkling yarns. It was heaven weaving all this fabrics.

Here are some pics, what do you think? Let me know!

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Advent Calendar part 1

My own calendar; a pic each day to celebrate the best time of the year 😊

Day 1 to 4 https://mariannanello.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/img_8021.movhttps://mariannanello.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/img_8101.mov

To share or not to share your own knowledge? – Dressing the loom

First of all, you all know how much I love to share my thoughts and ideas with others. That’s why I’m deeply in love with Instagram. Thanks to social media I’ve found I huge community of super nice (and extremely skilled) people willing to help and share their knowledge.  Every time I am concerned about something, I share a post on Instagram and get some quick-positive response, isn’t that amazing??! The sad part is that not many people are from Italy (indeed none of my Insta-friend is, with very few exceptions). People from the UK, USA, Australia, Japan…but no Italians out there! I find it so hard to connect with Italian weavers; is it because I always write in english? or maybe because we are potential competitors?

I really don’t know but I noticed that Italians are unwilling to share their own ‘secrets’, their knowledge and the know-how.

Remember my last post about Alpacas?

The two breeders, a lovely couple, have been learning to weave in order to use the Alpacas’ wool they produce. The first thing they told me, once I told them I’m a weaver myself, was: “We asked a few weavers for help but everyone is always reluctant to give us advice”. I was ashamed and seriously concerned about that. They just wanted to know some tips on how to dress the loom quickly and how to bind the warp in an easier way…how could you not help someone who is willing to learn to weave? Why do you have to discourage them? I tried to explain them how I set up my table loom alone, just using water bottles to balance the warp. I’m afraid I failed to explain myself so once back in my studio I wrote them an email adding some pics of the process.

Anyway, this is how I bind a warp on my table loom…in a “super professional” way:

I usually divide my warp in 2 sections so that I have the right tension and it’s easier to balance the warp evenly. The warp showed in the pictures was 390 ends (divided in 2 smaller section of 195 threads each). As you can see I use a raddle to make the process run smoothly; actually, the first time I saw a raddle I was in England, I had never used it before but now I couldn’t live without it! (I don’t think it’s a popular tool in Italy but I’d suggest you to use one, it makes things way easier!). My Ikea bookshelf is essential at this stage, it is part of the process – like it was made for the purpose, don’t you think??. So, this is how I make it…what’s your method?

Ps: If you are an Italian weaver/ creative, prove me wrong! Let’s connect!

 

Back in Town; studio is up and running again.

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post on this blog.
I have been busy with a new job and I had to move to another city for a few months, from April to September, but now I’m back again!
Finally back to my studio and, obviously, back to my loom.
I’ve been missing weving and designing fabrics so much! Now that I have some spare time I can focus on my winter collection. I haven’t posted pics on Instagram either and I bet my followers were wondering what I was doing… Well, I can assure you that working for Gucci was a great experience indeed but very tiring as well!
I am looking forward to create an interesting collection of scarves this fall, trying to combine traditional tartan and innovative designs. So many things to do and so little time…
Truth is that I’m still looking for a job, something that gives me time to weave at least on weekends (any advice is welcome). I’m planning to keep running my business on Etsy but I’ll have to work a lot on my brand image and style in order to sell.
Enough with the talk, I want to show you my latest work:

 check my Instagram for updates

and my ETSY shop too

Woven Stories | Collaboration Project with the artist Serena Nello

This month I joined the #marchmeetthemaker challenge (by @joannehawker ) on Instagram. Each day we, the makers, are supposed to post a pic regarding a different aspect of our business: pics of the studio, materials, latest creations, fav things to make, packaging and so on. Day 14 challenge was about “creative friends” so I thought I would share one of my sister’s artworks (Check her Instagram gallery @serenart90 ). While selecting her paintings I found few watercolors that matched perfectly my handwoven fabrics and got super excited! I started taking tons of pictures of my scarves and her works and here is the result:

You can find all my handwoven scarves/textiles in my Etsy shop: MariannaNelloTextile

Studio Update / Back to Rustic Elegance

So, at the beginning of my MA journey I focused on the trends called ‘Rustic Elegance’ and ‘Rough Luxe’ and since then I forgot about those two until few days ago when I was ready to set up a new warp. I’ve been missing those productive days when all I was doing was yarns and pattern research!

I haven’t been experimenting much these past months and I really wanted to try something new so I decided to use a twisted, un-dyed cotton for the warp and raw silk and hemp as weft. I wanted to play with textures and so I tried to create a tridimensional effect using a wooden stick to create small loops. I’ve done this experiment before with different materials and the result was quite satisfactory. From the pictures you can probably see how the pattern is working: it is a simple but asymmetrical check design. Unfortunately, the warp thread was a bit too stretchy so the fabric was bouncing and crimped once off the loom. I’ll probably try to use this woven piece to make a small pouch but I’m not sure about the final result…we’ll see how it turns out!

What do you think? Any suggestion?

Making a scarf #3

Week 4, The making of a new scarf:

As today was a relatively warm and sunny day, I was inspired by more soft and pale colors for my new creation.
The warp was already set up; a lovely cotton candy shade of light blue.
As always, I started researching a mood on Pinterest and this pic came up:

The pic on the right is a color palette found on Pinterest, on which I based the choice of my yarn selection.

I began to weave the scarf using a dark blue in combination with a light orange and a pale beige. As for the pattern, I have been using a 4:4 twill changing the color sequence every 4 pick.

I wanted to create a scarf that reminds of spring so I gradually changed the color, shifting from a dark blue to the bright orange and finish with the soft brown shades.

Today I was only able to weave 65 cm and tomorrow I won’t be at the studio so I’ll probably finish this project next week.

Can’t wait to see the final result! You will find it soon on my Etsy shop —> HERE

Now enjoy a sneak peek of my work and tell me what you think.

Studio Practice Update:

During the past weeks I have been focusing the attention on the bag design neglecting the weaving/textile design component. As I have no knowledge in pattern making (for leather bags), I have been looking around in order to collect ideas and inform my designs/sketches. During more than one tutorial I have been asked to produce some mock and prototype using the leather scraps I have but I still feel uncomfortable using the sewing machine, especially to create bags. In a previous post I collected some picture of samples I made which, of course, were everything but good. Therefore I started thinking about giving up the idea of making a bag collection but then I realized that, in the end, I am a weaver and not a bag designer; I make textile, not bags. Although it is good to experiment and push myself out my comfort zone, it is also worth considering my own skills and areas of interests.

I am now resolved to stop drawing bags designs and focus on the things I like which are: planning textile drafts, experimenting colors and yarns combinations and weave.

My inspiration for this module comes from abstract art, especially from the work of Frank Stella. Very simple weave technique will be adopted such as plain weave, 1:3 twill, 1:4 twill, 1:8 and so on. Here are some pictures of my studio and ideas.

 

Weaving Practice #3

During the Christmas holiday I produced some more samples to add to my portfolio. This samples are bigger than the other ones and are based on my final color palette which includes shades of blue, white, black and brown.

The inspiration was, as said before, the seaside with its color and surfaces. Tridimensional effects are made using thin/thick wool yarns while the basic pattern is woven using raw silk.

All the samples present stripes, both in warp and weft and present also different patterns combinations. Not all of them are working well and therefore could not be used to create accessories, but some are well balanced and could be easily used to make bags.

Here are some pictures of the samples, as can be seen the main point is always the surfaces and the visual/haptic perception: