courses  22 - Loom for discontinuous warps (theoretical workshop)

This workshop is aimed at expert weavers with an interest in textile anthropology

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Duration of workshop: 6 hours
For groups of at least four

Overview: Weaving on a discontinuous warp is an ancient Peruvian technique which was believed to be lost until it was recently re-discovered, studied and revived at Accha Alta, about 70 miles from Cuzco. I was there in 2001 during a textile tour and I was able to watch the setting up of one of those looms, which is now part of my collection together with several artefacts woven in this technique. A discontinuous warp is made of groups of differently colored clasped warps, a technique that already intrigued me in 1976 (see Schermi). The wefts behave in the same manner, forming a cloth which is wonderfully mysterious if you haven’t seen it being woven.

Program: I will explain with the aid of photographs how Accha Alta weavers set up their discontinuous warps, and will show some artefacts. I will also explain how modern weavers can simplify this technique and use it on a rigid-heddle loom on a multi shaft loom.