Jacquard Weaving Workshop by Wen-Ying Huang
Taiwan-based fiber artist and TC2 owner Wen-Ying Huang recently conducted a Digital Jacquard Weaving Design Workshop. And having followed the progress online/ on social media, we were immensely fascinated by the thorough, systematic and fun approach that Wen-Ying undertook to get the participants started on their Jacquard Weaving journey! And so, we reached out to Wen-Ying and requested her to share details about the workshop and her experiences during the course of it. Wen-Ying Huang writes…
During the winter break, I organized an intensive Digital Jacquard Weaving Workshop for beginners. The subjects of this 9-day workshop was to have the participants prepare Jacquard files in Photoshop® and to weave their files on the TC2. The objective of the workshop was for students to know the basic Jacquard weave structures so as to create textile art rather than to design for production.
Since the students had little experience in weaving and a limited knowledge of weave structures, I prepared a set of woven samples to go with hands-outs and gave them a demonstration of how the Jacquard files for these samples were prepared, which was helpful for them. These samples were prepared specifically based on the setting of the loom—warp density and black warp. All of these efforts were to avoid any confusion and to give clear information to students.
Based on my learnings from different teachers, books and years of teaching Jacquard Weaving, I choose seven topics for this Workshop – ranging from easy to the more complex structures, and for creating different styles of images.
- Damask: This traditional and yet simple weave structure is good as an introduction. The students learnt to modify an image into a two-color design, to use filters and other tools in Photoshop.
- Images of different designs by using different weave structures: These were woven as one image and with one shuttle, to understand the varying qualities of weave structures and the effects that these weave structures created.
- Use of two wefts (two different colors) to interpret the previous design: By using two wefts to create three color effects (color A, color B, mix color of A and B) on the same design used in the second exercise (above). This was the students’ first encounter on how to mix two weave structures into one.
- Monochrome shade weaves: This was the most popular technique, which entailed the introduction of different shades of weave structures.
- Weft-Backed weave structure: This topic is picked from the book “The Woven Pixel: Designing for Jacquard And Dobby Looms Using Photoshop®” and I chose to cover “taqueté and samitum” as a part of this topic. But it was difficult for the students to understand that these are two types of warp systems. The Weft-Backed weave structure is straightforward and was a good introduction for the next topic that was covered.
- Polychrome shade weaves: This was an extension of the topics 4 & 5 (above) and involved using three wefts to create seven color combinations and each one of these had six different shades.
- Double weaves: Although the color and density of the warp are not specific to double weave, the students did explore double weave, including pocket effect, stitched layers, interchange layers, and piqué effect.
- Personal project: Students also chose one technique to create a jacquard file and weave it during the remaining time of the workshop.
One of my learnings from conducting this workshop was that the control over time is very important! Due to their excitement and the sense of getting a rare opportunity to weave their designs, the students tended to have bigger samples or more elaborate designs. And that is when it became important to insist on paying extra attention to the maximum size of the weave-ready file. Only then, was it possible that everyone could finish their weaving on one TC2 loom within the time that was stipulated for the workshop.
The decision to choose Photoshop® as a design tool for this workshop was because it is easily available and the cost is relatively cheaper than other professional Jacquard softwares. But then, there’s the drawback of having to use “more than necessary” steps to achieve the results and that one needs to be aware of the correct modes (indexed color, RGB, Greyscale, etc.).
Jacquard weaving design is all about dealing with different weave structures. The black and white dots on the computer screen don’t mean much to a beginner. But once the students weave the files that they have created, it helps them to understand more and to explore further by going back to the computer. This sort of going back and forth from the loom to the computer was very well-received. Having a Jacquard handloom available for a workshop is very important for a Jacquard Weaving Design Workshop.
Below are some of the images of students’ works:
Fiber Artist Wen-Ying Huang is based in Tainan city, Taiwan. She graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1993. From 1997 till 2017, she taught at the Fiber Division, Graduate Institute of Applied Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts, Taiwan. Since 2001, she practiced and studied Computer Jacquard handweaving. Images, weave structures and materials are the media that she uses to express her different thinking about daily life. Light-sensitive yarn and metal thread are her main materials. Non-traditional materials with innovative weave structures create unique image and forms. She has participated in many international fiber exhibitions, for example: “Rijswijk Textile Biennial 2011”, 1st, 2nd and 3rd International TECHstyle Art Biennial, 4th to 9th From Lausanne to Beijing International Fiber Art Biennale and 1st Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art satellites show.
January 13, 2022
January 13, 2022