Archiving my weaving samples

Thus far I have not done a massive amount of weaving projects, and still the samples which I carried with me to Double Wars was a bit of a mess all stuffed inside the result of one sampling project.

In order to show what I’ve done, and for me to remember it in the future I figure I’m going to need a better archiving system than stuffing bits of cloth into another cloth sack. I did, thanks to the prompting from master weaver Åsa, mark most of my samples in some way. I developed a deeper system to mark my Birka twill samples, and I did learn quite a lot from doing them, but now, 15 months after finishing the cloth I don’t really remember what I did. Reading my tags that I attached to the samplers refreshed my memory however.

I do use this website and blog as a digital archive of at least my historically inspired weaving projects, but I have also done a few definitely modern bits of weaving which never got a write-up here.

Warping notes in gridded notepad

One main benefit of making samplers is also the ability to touch a finished cloth in order to make informed choices, and to gain knowledge of yarns, fibres and weave structures. Having the physical samplers ready to show is a good idea. I have also kept notes on the warping set up of nearly all of my sampling and projects in a very old gridded notepad. The papers are very thin, but I do want to keep them. I’ve also saved yarn banners.

My idea to showcase the samplers would be a binder of some kind, with thicker card stock paper on which I can staple fabric. I want to be able to touch them and scrunch them up, so I don’t want to fully encase them in plastic. I also have the notepad papers with the warping sequences, and in some cases finished fabrics. I’m sure there are products I could buy off the shelf for this – but I admit I did not even research this as I am on a budget.

What I did instead was go to the local second-hand shops and look for suitable materials. In the first one (Sirius Loppmarknad) I found a double width binder which will easily take the samples I have so far, and then some. This size binders new go for over 100 SEK, and I paid 5.

Then I needed solutions for cardstock and plastic pockets to go in it. I found nothing else suitable in the same shop, but continued on to another (Kupan, Röda Korset) where I found bunches of plastic pockets for under 1 SEK each, and two old photoalbums of the kind with thick cardstock covered with see-through plastic that sticks with a respositionable adhesive for 15 SEK each. They’re very old and the adhesives are questionable, which is just fine for my purposes. I also found a standard register (5 SEK) with 31 sections, so I can file things in order and keep track of what’s where.

With these supplies I can start my archive of samplers and I’ve only spent 65 SEK on this so far. I have a hole-punch and stapler, I have my samples and plenty of paper to write my notes on to keep with each. I’m thinking I want to note:

  • Date
  • Yarn, type and quantity and source
  • Weave-structure
  • Purpose (just trying a technique, or learning about yarn or weave structure, getting to know a material)
  • How long it took (for those projects I have that information)
  • Details about each sample
  • Notes about what I learned

The process of creating this archive, and writing the things down is going to be a great aid to my memory and learning. Having it organized in a binder will also make it easier to show others what I’ve done. It should also work better to keep them in chronological order meaning I can find the one I want faster. Also an index can be cross-referenced.

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