How Hard Is it to Stamp the Warp?

To stamp the warp, I stand on the foot beam at the front of the loom and reach over the beater. A six-inch board hangs just below the warp on loops of Texsolv cord, behind the beater, as the platform for the stamping and painting. A strip of blue painter’s tape stuck onto the backside of the beater divides the warp into three sections–A, B and C. The sections denote three tiers of a tiered skirt for which this fabric is intended to be used.

Warp painting and stamping on the loom.
Back of the beater is marked with blue tape that shows the A, B, and C sections of the warp.

I was concerned that this would be hard to do–thinning the paint, reaching over, stamping in sections, letting it dry before advancing the warp, and so on. But it is not nearly as hard as I anticipated. It’s not actually hard at all.

Painting and stamping warp on the loom. Karen Isenhower
When I step on the foot beam at the front of the loom, and reach over the beater, with paint palette (disposable plastic picnic plate) in one hand, and stamp or paintbrush in the other, this is my view.

Similarly, at times it seems hard to do the right thing, even though I know that loving God means walking in his ways. Simply thinking something is hard to do, though, is not reason enough to avoid doing it. And, more often than not, we find that doing the right thing is not hard to do, after all.

May you do the right thing.


Plain Weave in a Fancy Mess

Plain weave has never been this interesting! I am painting and stamping the warp on the loom. Imagine applying colors onto the warp between the shafts and the beater! Weaving on the printed warp produces lovely subdued woven images. And, I had forgotten how fast two treadles and one shuttle can be. After having slowly woven many rag rugs, plain weave feels like a speedboat ride now.

Stamped warp between shafts and beater.
Stamped warp between shafts and the beater, waiting to dry.

The only problem is, I don’t like the mess. Paint is messy, and I am not fond of getting my hands dirty. Yes, I wear gloves when painting, but there’s the sink, the carpet, and the loom to think about, too. No, I don’t like the mess.

Painting and stamping warp on the loom.
Tarps and drop cloths cover the carpet and some of the loom in case of paint spills. Paper towels stand ready for emergencies.
Stamped warp being woven.
When dry, the printed area comes through the beater as the warp is advanced.
Weaving a warp that is painted on the loom.
Stamped shapes become subdued as the weft goes across.

Have you ever been in a mess in life? I have. Others see the pretty fabric you produce, but never see the mess behind the scenes. Appeal to the one who can help. There is one who sees the mess, but loves us anyway. When we appeal to God as Shepherd, we acknowledge our need, and that we want him to lead us–even through the mess. Then, the fabric that is produced has beauty that is truly woven in.

May you enjoy creating beauty, despite the mess.

In process,