On Weaving Reflection

I really appreciate Anni Albers’s clarity and direct writing style. The first line that stood out to me is “All weaving is the interlacing of two distinct groups of threads at right angles.” Thanks to my grandmother, I have been knitting since I was fairly young and have since experimented with macrame and tapestry weaving. I do not have any formal education in fiber arts, though, so I could not have articulated the distinction between the different constructions. I appreciate this definition and the further clarification regarding woven vs braided vs knitted/crocheted vs lace.

The differences between plain, twill, and satin weave were really meticulously described, but I still had trouble visualizing them. I found myself searching for images and came across this graphic explanation.

The basic structures of woven fabrics

I think most people probably take the construction of fabrics for granted. How many people know that the stiff material of cotton sheets is made with a plain weave? Or that jeans our jeans have a twill weave?

I was excited to see Quipu referenced in our additional readings. As part of a group project in the Design Writing Research course last semester, my teammates and I created a language for a fictional civilization that was inspired in part by quipu. We had to develop the full language from alphabet to grammar, and the “writing system” was actually constructed from knots in threads. You could think of it as Braille-meets-macrame. I can’t seem to find any images of the prototypes we made, but here are diagrams of the language.

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