The Care & Feeding of Your Weaving

A Bit about Perfection:
Each of our weavings was handwoven on a backstrap loom which is, at its essence, a living loom. And as living creatures are not perfect, neither are the weavings in terms of the alignment of the weave or of the design such as you would expect to see from cloth made on a mechanized loom. Likewise, colors created from plant dyes and hand dyeing will have variations throughout in the strength of the tint. Expect to see some minor flaws. The perfection of the piece lies rather in the whole of its artistry, in the history, in the process, and in the relationship between weaver and thread. The gestalt of the thing, so to speak. 

Cleaning:
Your weaving is rather sturdy and will retain its vibrant colors for years to come. The weavers themselves often wash their weavings with fairly harsh soap. But just to be on the safe side, treat your weaving as the fine textile that it is.

  • Wash gently by hand in cold water with mild soap.
  • Rinse well, squishing the water out without wringing. You will see some tinting of the wash/rinse water. Don't panic. It's normal. The colors will not bleed into each other. However, if your piece is all cotton and includes indigo-dyed jaspe panels (dark blue with generally white figures) then take this extra step:  roll the textile in a dark-colored towel to blot out all excess water before drying. 
  • Dry flat or if you must hang dry, try to hang it by the fringe end so it does not pull out of shape.
  • If necessary, iron on low. Make sure your iron is clean. If the piece is an open weave or a "skip" weave pattern, be very gentle while ironing so as not to inadvertently pull a thread and shift the jaspe design off-kilter.  This type of weave, in which the weft threads are woven for 7 or 8 rows then skipped for an equal distance, is very popular among the weavers of San Juan and creates a more fluid piece.

Example of the skip weft style in backstrap loom weaving.

 

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.