March 26, 2017

white spiral bangle 4138

This little bangle is another project exploiting the possibilities of a common modern material PVC plastic. This design tales advantage of PVC's ability to take and hold a shape when heated as well as the polished finish made with a cotton buffing process.

The overlapping ends are tapered to maintain the proportions of diameter to width then the rough shape is warmed in a stovetop water bath. The softened plastic is then placed on an oval mold and allowed to cool.

This view shows the overlap.

The rough-cut is then sanded to remove the cutting tool marks then buffed with a motorized wheel. The cotton buffing prices heats the surface of the plastic just enough to fuse the surface creating the smooth semi-polished texture.

7 3/8" (187 mm) circumference
2 1/2" (63 mm) x 2 1/4" (58 mm) oval diameter

A similar design can be seen here.

More of these are available on the ArtFact Site shop 

design and photographs copyright 2017

March 24, 2017

walnut one button tapestry weave handmade cuff bracelet 4125

I really like the color of this walnut brown dye batch so naturally I'm using it in these tapestry weave cuff projects. There are two innovations here:

1. The loops have one leg near the center of the weave which makes for a more secure grip on the button.

2. The warp cord ends are returned into the warp forming loops instead of cut off ends. This creates a less ragged end under the loops.
 In this photo you can see some of the detail in the  clay button. There are a pair of larger holes for the 3 mm warp cord. The surface texture is created with a walnut shell before the baking process hardens the clay. This button is made from the stock white Sculpy clay which has a bit of sparkle  to it (invisible in the picture of course…)

Made on a 7" mold the finished cuff is about 6 1/2" (165 mm) inside circumference. This is a 6 strand warp, the center two strands are combined.
The long winded tutorial starts here showing how these are made.

You may want to visit the online shop to see what is available in this collection.

design and photographs copyright 2017

March 22, 2017

blue and purple tapestry cuff 4128

 Using a 10 strand warp this design has a center of dark blue cotton with alternating triangles of blue inset along the edge. A pair of buttons and loops secure the ends.

The weave is a simple over-under plain weave throughout. Made on a loom.

the tutorial where all secrets are revealed
 Detail shows the patterning. All the weft cords are single strands.

7" (178 mm) inside circumference
2 1/4" (59 mm) wide
This required some extra time to complete…

other designs you might like:
blue ocean string weave tapestry cuff bracelet

experiments with string weaving overview

wide blue tapestry woven rope cuff 

design and photographs copyright 2017

March 20, 2017

Grey blue multi weave tapestry cuff bracelet 4124

This cuff uses three different colors and two different weave patterns to achieve the contrasting textures.

The center is an open double strand weave where the weft is not compressed leaving the warp cords exposed in the checkerboard pattern.

The darker blue and grey segments use a double strand weft in a double over-under weave.  Each pass is compressed against the weave to eliminate gaps. The gray segment uses a single loop at the edge of the double over-under weave.
 The non compressed weft creates openings exposing the warp. The cotton warp cords exert enough friction on the weft to prevent bunch ups and distortions. (If you use a synthetic warp there is less friction so this technique works best with cotton.)

The tutorial is here.

Here's another wide cuff with a free form design
wide multi color tapestry cuff bracelet

red grey walnut tapestry weave cuff bracelet 
A pair of custom buttons and loops secures the ends. oh and there are the two 'rat tails' left as well (ends whipped to prevent fraying)

design and photographs copyright 2017

March 18, 2017

multi color rainbow string weave cuff 4121

This cuff really is made with string - the variegated color of the weft comes from the use of dyed cordage that has been unwound exposing the color gradient within each of the yarns.

These pieces of partially dyed cotton yarn then are used in a tapestry weave on an eight strand warp.

(Now I know where the term "warp core" originated …beam me up Scotty!)
So here you can see the variegated color effects of the weft strands within the color fields. The button is a poly clay boulder button, readers of this blog had seen these on other bracelets. These are custom made with two oversize holes. The rounded shape passes smoothly thought the loops but stays put when engaged.

Size 7 to 7 1/2" (178 mm - 191 mm) internal circumference

Some other designs that you might like:
blue ocean string weave tapestry cuff bracelet

more string weaving bracelets

experiments with string weaving overview

If you want to see how these are made check this multi part tutorial it has pictures…

design and photographs copyright 2017

March 16, 2017

rose and walnut cotton double tapestry weave cuff 4117

What makes this design different is the thicker ribs formed by the warp cords.

The colors are a combination of red and black walnut dyed cotton string. The warp is black polyester cord. Button is a custom made poly clay two hole disc with a textured surface.

Multi page tutorial with all the secrets.

Diagram showing a cross section of the weave.

In this bracelet there are a pair of warp cords in each pass instead of just one. This makes each rib a double width and gives the design a different proportion.
Full layout view. Bracelet measures 7 1/2" (191 mm) circumference. Some other designs you might like:

heather and blue grey one button string weave cuff

wide blue tapestry woven rope cuff 

a collection of early work

design and photographs copyright 2017

March 14, 2017

Finishing the weave - String weave tapestry bracelet tutorial part 8

Part 8: Finishing the weave

When the gaps are full of cord use the tapestry needle to bury the end this time in the center of the weave.

Leave about 1" and draw the string carefully through the weave until the slack is gone.

Use enough force to firmly compact the weave but be careful not to distort the weave pattern.

Also trim off the exposed warp strands where they emerge from the weave. Don't accidentally cut the weft strands!
When the slack is removed trim off the extra piece with a scissor or cutting tool.

Here are some designs based on this technique you might like:

heather and blue grey one button string weave cuff

one button string weave leather lacing cuff white

heather grey one button cuff

wide blue tapestry woven rope cuff 

Here is the finished bracelet with the two colors of cotton weft completed.

Here's a view of the inside showing the button engaged in the end loops.

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design, photos, and descriptions copyright 2017

March 12, 2017

Adding a second color and finishing the weave - String weave tapestry bracelet tutorial part 7

 Part 7: Adding a second color and finishing the weave

In this example a second darker color weft string is used to add interest to the design. The weaving is the same technique as before using a new segment of cord. Start by burying the new weft in the existing work then continue weaving.

Cut a length of the weft string and double it on the tapestry needle as before.

Insert the needle under the the weave alongside the warp strand about 1" from the end and draw the new weft string through the weave.

Then resume the weaving from side to side observing the opposite over-under pattern as before keeping the weft strands  parallel at the turns without crossovers!

Continue the weave with the weft strands held parallel at the edges.

After each pass pack the weft cords down to eliminate gaps in the weave. Work from the turn edge across the weave towards the loose end allowing the weft to fill the gaps.

Pattern shift:

Here you will notice that those two loose ends of the warp strands have been grouped with the outside strands forming a new pattern:

over two - under one - over one - under two

leave the ends of the warp strands exposed, you will trim these off later.

At the button end continue weaving until the loops are stuffed with cord as shown. Use the tapestry needle to find the gaps and pack the weft firmly.

Fill the remaining gap at the button with the same figure-8 weave of the weft pair.

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design, photos, and descriptions copyright 2017

March 10, 2017

red grey walnut tapestry weave cuff bracelet 4127

 The range of colors in this cuff runs from a dark walnut brown to a bright red. The warp cords are black polyester which emphasizes the color.

Eight strand warp creates a generous width a pair of "tails" extending from the loop side.

The buttons are custom made with a walnut shell texture pressed into the concave side. The polymer clay was over baked to make the dark brown color and fuse the polymers.
 The over under wrapping technique makes the cuff reversible as the pattern and colors are exposed on both sides. This is the same weaving technique as these "fishtail" bracelets:

chunky fishtail braid bracelet with button

fishtail braid rope bracelets with button loop

chunky fishtail braid rope bracelet with wood bead 
The flat-earth view showing the color pattern and accents (made with store-bought cotton floss)

This and other similar designs can be found in the ETSY shop.

design and photographs copyright 2017

March 8, 2017

blue ocean string weave tapestry cuff bracelet 4126

 Using a wider 10 strand warp array allows for bigger areas of color and more pattern variations. Each warp cord is expressed by the wrapping creating a subtle ribbed or stacked effect.

This cuff is made with two custom poly clay buttons that have been overcooked to develop the earthy brown color. Pressing the texture also creates slight cracks in the edges giving this piece a weathered/worn texture.
 Here you can see the abstract composition made with three colors of hand dyed string and two colors of manufactured cotton floss.
7 1/2" (19 1mm) circumference
2 3/8" (61 mm) wide
Here's a tutorial showing how these are made

some other designs you might like:

soft string bangle

wide blue tapestry woven rope cuff

This and other similar designs can be found in the ETSY shop.

design and photographs copyright 2017

Securing the loop end weft - String weave tapestry bracelet tutorial part 6

 Part 6: Securing the loop end weft:

This is where the loop size is defined and the weft strings are secured.

Place the large tapestry needle over the loose ends at the loop end of the weave. You can draw some tension on the weave and tighten up the weft just a bit so it is even. Don't over tighten this part.

Leave the warp strand loops big enough for the button! Test this before finishing the weave.

Add one or two passes then bury the weft ends in the weave. Check the loop and button fit to ensure the loops are the correct size for easy fit over the button.

You can pack the weft down to enlarge the button loops.

For added security you may use a small needle and thread to secure the end of the weft strings by sewing a few stitches through the warp strands.
Here is the progress showing the weaving complete on the right side and the doubled over warp strands on the left.

Ready to begin the second color...

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design, photos, and descriptions copyright 2017

March 7, 2017

wide multi color tapestry cuff bracelet 4123

This project started out with no fewer than 12 warp cords making it the current width champ. The idea was to experiment with color patterning. The offset weaving stuck to the single plain weave pattern where each warp cord was individually wrapped (no pairing).

Various materials are used including the dyed string and commercially available cotton floss.
The string has a more substantial thickness so the areas populated with string weaving have a characteristic thickness. The floss is very thin and even though it was double-doubled (four strands) it doesn't cover nearly as much as the thicker cotton string.

 Here's a look at the flattened out view showing the variety of colors and textures. A grey cotton warp cord array was used to minimize the show through effects where gaps in the weft reveal the warp cords.

The buttons are a poly clay that was formed and printed with a walnut shell to achieve the texture (sorry you can't see it here) then overcooked to get the natural dark brown color. This extended cooking also assures that the plastic is fully fused together.
Here are a few more designs similar to this you might like:

heather and blue grey one button strigweave cuff

heather grey one button cuff 

more string weave bracelets

More of these are available for you to purchase in the ETSY shop in the tapestry cuffs section 

March 4, 2017

Terminating loose ends - String weave tapestry bracelet tutorial part 5

Part 5: Terminating loose ends

This part shows how to bury the ends of the weft strings in the completed weave.

These concealed terminations allow you to use varying lengths of weft strings of different colors maintaining the seamless appearance.

Wrap the pair around one of the outside warp strands and insert the tapestry needle under the loops as shown.

Draw the tapestry needle though several of the loops along side the warp cord allowing it to emerge about 1" from the start.

Note: you may remove the weaving from the loom to do this.

Gently draw the weft strings through the weave until the slack is removed. Don't distort the weave, just apply enough tension to snug the loop in place on the open end.
Then use a scissor or cutting tool to trim off the end avoiding damage to the weave.

Use this technique to establish a new warp pair: Run the needle the opposite direction with a fresh length of string. Re-start the weave following the established over-under order.

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design, photos, and descriptions copyright 2017

March 2, 2017

Beginning the weave - String weave tapestry bracelet tutorial part 4

Part 4: Beginning the weave

The pattern is a so called "plain weave" which is the simplest over one - under one sequence.

Take a length of the thin dyed weft string and double it through another tapestry needle. I use an oversize needle for ease of handling. You may also use a piece cardboard as a shuttle instead of the needle.

Start at the loop end of the warp cords. Leave 1/2" open loop to allow for the button.

Draw the doubled string through the warp cords with a simple over-under pattern. Use the needle to help separate the warp strands as you work back and forth.
Turn the doubled cords over "ribbon style" at the edge keeping them parallel. Don't allow the string to cross over when you make the turn.

(Can you see the bad crossover in this photo?)

Keeping the pair of string (weft) cords aligned will make the finished work look nice and neat.

Use the simple over-under pattern as before and pull the slack through the weave and pack the weft together.

Initially the weave may be somewhat loose and appear disorganized. Leave a 6" piece on the end, we will use this later to terminate the weave.

Continue to work the paired weft string ribbon-style back and forth through the thicker warp strands. This shows the correct alignment of the paired weft strings.

After each pass firm up the tension on the weft by gently pulling the loose end. The spacing will be as shown with the crossover between the warp strands slightly smaller than the diameter of the warp strands themselves.

You may use the pliers or the tapestry needle to compress or pack the weave after each pass.

Getting an even tension takes practice...

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design, photos, and descriptions copyright 2017