We decided that January would be as good a time as any to learn some simple loom weaving. Looms ares used to create things like fabric and rugs. I’m sure some of you are wondering why on earth an art program is including things like hand sewing and loom weaving. We feel very strongly that our students need to be introduced to a variety of the visual arts, and that includes textile arts.There are very important cognitive skills that can be gained through these types of art projects. They help with learning repetition, following a pattern; they increase hand-eye coordination and dexterity. In particular, loom weaving can help with developing creativity, fine-motor skills, problem-solving skills, concentration, independent work, and promotes basic mathematical proficiency with things like spatial relationships. I think those are pretty amazing and incredibly useful abilities to begin to acquire while young since they will prove useful throughout their lives. 

The goal in mind was that we’d use the looms to create fun little wall hangings with pompoms or tassels or fringe to finish them off. We helped each student set up their own little wooden board loom, and offered up strips of fabric and yarn for them to use in their weaving after a brief demonstration of how to weave, and then let the kids get to it. We used the most basic over one and under one weaving pattern. Help was occasionally given to try to keep them on track with their over-under pattern, figuring out the returns, detailing yarns, and tying off the woven piece at the end, but other than that help, the little “rugs” and wall hangings the kids have been bringing home has been their handiwork. They’ve worked diligently to finish these projects. They are proud of their masterpieces. More than one said it was kind of hard but really fun. I am proud of them and the work they’ve done, and I hope you’re proud of them too.

 I hope that you’ll refer to this blog post a few times to have different conversations with your children about all the different types of textile art out there and to watch some of these videos or discuss some of the different artwork pictured above. It won’t all be to your taste and style preference but it is quite fascinating to see all the different things people are able to do with textiles.

Various Youtube Links About Textile Arts and Artists
fantastic tulle netting portrait sculptureshttps://youtu.be/fLLOlB2WF_Y
how mechanical/modern looms work
making bobbin lace https://youtu.be/YWQ-KZoePIo
man-powered, traditional loom weaving
slow motion of the full Bayeux Tapestry
how tapestries are made
the works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude
process of Chinese silk paintings
Vintage- creating textile designs
Amazing art quilts
Fantasy animal soft sculpture exhibit
Photorealistic embroidery portraits
Impressionist embroidery portraits
Quilted and appliqued textile art of Inger Johannes Rasmussen https://youtu.be/O8VcdQDMEPY
Soft sculpture “bat”
Installation soft sculptures of Toshiko Hano    https://youtu.be/cptzOTjrga8
Felted soft sculptures
Aboriginal soft sculptures (also shows how they dye and add visual texture to the fabrics they use)       https://youtu.be/_znIQI-GYGk
 Mocomoco soft sculpture creation 
 Creative textile art process of Alysn Midgelow-Marsden       https://youtu.be/JnAW9FnMkA4
 Felted art of Aileen Leijten