Off-loom Weaving: An Innovative and Sustainable Approach of Handicraft Development
Nadeem Afraz¹* and Malik Muhammad Anees²
1Institute of Art & Design, University of Sargodha, Pakistan
2Senior Elementary School Educator, Department of Education, Pakistan
Submission: October 07, 2020; Published: November 11, 2020
*Corresponding author: Nadeem Afraz, Institute of Art & Design, University of Sargodha, Pakistan
How to cite this article: Nadeem A,d Malik M A. Off-loom Weaving: An Innovative and Sustainable Approach of Handicraft Development. Curr Trends Fashion Technol Textile Eng. 2020; 7(2): 555707. DOI: 10.19080/CTFTTE.2020.07.555707
Designing the textiles is significantly affected by many factors such as fibers composition, yarn density, fabric construction and the weave design. The interlacement order of warp (end) and weft (pick) threads determines the fabric weave design. The simple woven structures carry only one series of warp and weft threads. However, in compound structures, there are more than one series of threads, of which one set form a body or ground and other set forms the figure, lettering or ornamentation. It is experienced that on-loom fabric development involving large scale letterings and images are compound woven structures. It becomes more complex if, produce weave patterns of large repeat size that may beyond handloom mechanical control and not remain cost effective with limited commercial applications. This study has used an innovative but sustainable approach of value addition and has executed craft work through off-loom weaving technique. It may predict that project will play a magnificent role in the socio-economic growth of craft entrepreneurs, society and the nation.
Keywords: Off-loom weaving; Sustainable; Innovative; Handicraft Development
Introduction and Background
It is well understood that ‘Design is all around you, everything man-made has been designed’ Hunter . The fabric structure designing is art of the fabrics development for different end uses. A few of techniques used for fabric development or manufacturing are weaving, knitting, braiding, felting, waterjet, needle punching, wet-laying and air-laying Horrocks AR, Anand SC . The fabrics manufactured through the weaving process are known as “woven fabrics”. The weaving of geometric designs is one of the very common practices today Sharma, Kanwar & Rekha . Geometric design is well known as geometric modeling. It is a part of computational geometry that explore the rendering and illustration of free-form arcs, surfaces, or shells Abdullahin & Embi  Varady . Geometrical designs were used in many arts movements. “Islamic Art” is entirely geometrical base and most of the designs in “Islamic Art” are the combination of the geometrical shapes Abdullahin & Embi  Ronning . The circle appears the foundation for Islamic pattern. The circle is often an organizing element and it plays an important role in calligraphy writing Alashari  Art . Calligraphy or Kalligraphia (Beautiful Writing) is the art of superior lettering or script. It applies to particular letters and to complete documents Alashari  Sons . The professional calligraphers provide custom hand-written and personalized calligraphy services especially for home decoration and has been executed as handcrafts Shepherd .
Weave Designs are categories in two types, i.e. Simple structures, there is only two set of yarn (thread) interlaced at geometric angle of 90˚ to each other and made a geometrical shape. The fabric structure is produced by intersection of ends (lengthwise threads) and picks (widthwise). All the neighboring warp and weft threads are parallel to one another and play an equally important role in determining the properties of the fabric. Their interlacement order for the fabric development is known as “weave” or “weave design” and their quantitative expression is known as “weave repeat” that indicates the minimum warp and weft threads required to manufacture a specific weave design. The size of repeat may be even or uneven depending on the nature of the weave Kim , Mathur & Seyam , Young . It is noticeable that geometric figures of short repeat size and lettering can be developed within fabric pattern through dobby loom provided with dobby cards Ciszuk .
In case of compound structures, there may be more than one series threads, of which one set forms the body or ground and the other forms the figuring or ornamentation. Unlike the simple structures, the neighboring threads need not be parallel to one another. The weaves with exceptionally large patterns and complex structure can be weaved on Jacquard looms Mathur & Seyam . However, on-loom design development involving complex structure with large scale letterings and images do not remain cost effective with limited commercial applications. Generally, textiles conversion processes are extremely energy, water and chemicalintensive regardless to the type of product. The major studies emphasize that the industry is struggling to balance out among the sustainable development and the manufacturing cost pressure. Chudasri, Walker & Evans . The weaving of calligraphic letterings is a complex woven design. This paper has covered the development of handicrafts of Arabic calligraphic in large repeat size compound woven structure using commercial net, which form the body or ground of fabric and other threads form the calligraphic weave patterns for aesthetic. In this sustainable but innovative approach of value addition handicraft has developed by using recycled knitted polyester net and recovered woolen yarn with the support of domestic installations.
Material and Methodology
Knitted fabric net of 100% polyester for body of the fabric and recovered wool twin for insertion thread was acquired from commercial source. It was washed separately with detergent and dried. The insertion thread was doubled and twisted to give it strength and net was ironed to remove its wrinkle. To maintain the dimension stability of ground fabric, an adjustable wooden frame was used to fix the polyester net under stress and protected with insertion of selvedge threads on each side. Initially calligraphy lettering weave patterns were developed on graph paper with pencil and outlined with marker. To weave the calligraphic patterns of compound structure, the principle of plain weave derivatives was used. The insertion woolen threads were extended to complete a word or a sentence in proportion to design pattern to form the calligraphic letterings on ground of polyester net. When the calligraphic pattern was completed, its selvedge threads were preset with adhesive material followed by fixing of a stiff sheet of white paper material on it back. The white color of paper material is selected based on color of net that used to form the body or ground structure. This was done, before its removal from the adjustable frame to maintain the stability of weaved pattern. Finally, it was fixed in frame using China plastic, Lasani sheet and covered with transparent glass to protect it visual surface. The hooks and hanging string were used for holding in display as calligraphic wall panel.
Calligraphy is also referred to a visual class of Paleography. The Arabs defined calligraphy as ‘the geometry of the line’. In Islamic states and moreover in China, Japan and India calligraphy is exclusively done by hand brush and has been greatly valued art in several centuries. In the west, it eventually evolves from initial Café painting, such as those (35000- 20000 B.C.) at Lascaux, France, into the concepts that develop into the recognizable letter forms of the Alphabet. The Quran calligraphy is a love of the writing and its power to connect viscerally and spiritually that drives to write. The techniques used for calligraphy writing is pen, pencil, brush, ink stone, wheat stark, hand needle threading and embroidery. The cutting of thermo-pole metal, Sliver, gold, wood and Plasterof- Paris were also used for calligraphy Alashari , Shepherd . The most of techniques of calligraphy development can be assumed as sustainable. However, each handcraft development techniques have its own visual and aesthetic and functional characteristics depending on the conversion process.
In past case studies’ a high degree of females’ labor force contribution is founded in handicrafts development. However, in last few years, young women have a tendency to leave home weaving and textiles making because of partial and unpredictable markets; time consuming and tedious practice of manufacturing. The handloom may be a cheap means of handicrafts development and now a day, the craft entrepreneurs expanded to the urban areas and qualified interior, art and textiles designers are working up to bulk production level and have adopted these artistic skills as their occupation Azid , Chudasri . Overall, handicrafts have high demand and double worth in the major metropolitan cities and globally, as the consumer of these artistic goods are belonging to elite class. However, the entrepreneurs of metropolitan areas and mass merchant exploit craft designers, so that the returns of their craft skills remain miserable . Too much financing and high sophisticated technology is not experienced in craft/cottage industry of rural areas. The small-scale fabrications provide designers and craft workers greater opportunity to develop innovative products with material exploration. The cultural handicrafts often turn out to be the primary means of income of a society. It supplies their day by day needs and offers jobs to the individual and members of the society. Moreover, with this innovative and sustainable approach of handicrafts for textile value addition, entrepreneurs and cottage industry will flourish and contribute more to the economic growth of a society and the nation.
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