Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Unvented Hungarian Loom (Part 1)

Well credit where it is due.
       First, the term "unvented" is from Elizabeth   Zimmermann who originally used it to describe 'coming up with a way to do something that is new to you, but you are sure has been done before.' It has also been used to descibe 'recovering lost technology or techniques,' which is how I'm using it now.
       Second, the book "Weaving is for Anyone" that I purchased at a thrift store. This book had an illustration  and listing for a Hungarian  Loom. It was descibed as portable, and able to make long bands. And "...The loom is a simple one, just a board with a bar at the end making a T shape, and nails on three sides. The directions for it's use are easy to follow, but lengthy, and space does not permit including them."

       This intrigued me, and the design looked easy to build, so...

...I began building. I took a short length of Alaskan Birch, and re-attached the cut end at the ninety degree angle to make the T shape. This is then re-inforced  with four small angle brackets. 
   But, somewhere  along the way, I misplaced  the  book. So, working  from a mis-remembered version of the illustration, I came up with this variant.

    The hooks hold up to three heddle bars, warp streached from the pin ends into the holes through the tee, and then tie back across the warp bar. The weaving can be advanced to the pins as they are bent back to hold the  new working warp area.  But this is nothing like the original illustration.
    So, now I have another 'new' loom, but not one in the Hungarian  design. Nor am I sure even how that design is supposed to work.
     A friend and I puzzled over the idea of the design, and came up with a few variations. However, they are variations on warp tension and advanacment, not the actual  weaving  technique. 
      So, as this project continues I will be building and weaving on at least a couple more 'unvented' looms. But for now, I have a test weaving to do on this one...

    So, a day later, and after testing.... a couple of notes. First, there is no need for the multiple small holes in the tee... a single large or two large holes would be fine.  Second,  weaving needles, not heddles, works just fine. Third, the hooks hold a bar to keep the working area above the backboard. 
     The weaving is weft faced, and does move (advance) as expected. So, this is kind of an anti-inkle loom. Overall, not as expected, but a successful  experiment.

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