Weaving essentially happens as a set of horizontal and of vertical yarns (or strips of other material) are interlaced and interlocked at right angles. Weaving has been a source of experiment, wonder, utility and livelihood for mankind since the beginning of time, making use of vegetal or animal materials to serve basic human needs–from the first fig leaf garment and wattle woven shelters.
* Woven fabric textiles are used for clothing, furnishing, wall hangings, flooring, and a multitude of other purposes, in daily life and for ceremonial occasions. These have also provided a significant decorative medium for a vivid and meaningful expression of culture and tradition. All rural communities weave; some may have excelled at it more than others, yet it remains a strong tradition with a global influence.
* Most textiles are made by weaving fibres, by hand or mechanically, on a loom with sets of warp and weft yarns. There are many different ways of weaving, called weaves, each method creating a different surface pattern; each of which may be combined to form a more complex weave.
* The very simplest weave involves fixing a row of evenly spaced plain warp threads to a frame and interweaving them with weft threads in an over-one, under-one rhythm; starting from right to left, wrapping around the left end warp then back again from left to right, reversing the order, And so on, until a woven length of fabric has been created.
* Many of the primitive hand held or back strap weaving looms are this simple. The narrow strips of fabric thus woven in traditional local colourings and patterns are afterwards joined together to make wider pieces – of any width.
* A complex weave might require two or more layers of warp threads, which then serve various functions. A first layer will create a back cloth, and one or more extra layers (sometimes called stuffer, filler, or pile warps) can either: create a stronger and stiffer fabric, provide the filling for a raised pattern or surface; make a double sided or double surface cloth; raise the surface as in velvet or toweling.
* Many weaves have names that tell their own story–perhaps that of the weaver or the town where the idea initiated (Oxford, for example ), that recalls a certain pattern (Honeycomb), and sometimes it is an ancient word no longer in use.
Some weaving terms are:
Cloth: the fabric, generally the weave or ground cloth
Drape: how the fabric handles, – is it soft, floppy, stiff, reluctant
Ends: individual warp ends
Fabric: the textile from which an item can be made, fabricated.
Filament: a fibre created by extrusion
Float: created when the weft passes over two or more threads–satin weave
Pass: one throw of the shuttle through the shed
Hand: how the finished cloth feels, how it drapes, how it responds to being creased
Ply: the amount of yarns twisted together determine the ply
Row: the number of rows in a material are the number of times the weft threads have pass through the warps.
Shed: the opening created on the loom as the weft passes between the warp yarns
Shuttle: the wooden boat shaped form which holds the weft threads
Textile: material made from vegetal, animal or mineral fibres
Thread: fine yarn used for sewing
Warp: the vertical yarns that are fitted to the loom and through which the weft is woven
Weft: horizontal yarns that create the weave as they pass through the warps in a number of different patterns
Yarn: the generic term for a thin, long, continuous strand of textile fibre, filament or material in form needed for the purpose of weaving, knitting or other wise interlacing; in order to create textile.