Deborah Jarchow and Gwen W. Steege’s The Weaving Explorer updates the craft from its 1970s boom days. Gone are garish chemical colors and polyester fibers; cooler palettes and the subtle hues of natural dyes reign. While there are still God’s Eyes and chunky, nubbly wall hangings, their forms and colors are clean, contemporary, and infinitely more appealing.
The book’s range of innovative weaving projects for garments, jewelry, household objects, and art employs an assortment of techniques and materials. Generous photographs illustrate the projects—based on traditional weavings from Japan, India, Scandinavia, and Latin America—and other, more challenging crafts projects that transform the traditional styles.
The text is suitable for novice and experienced weavers. Each technique is introduced with a simple project like a note card or bookmark; from there come more sophisticated examples. Even daunting traditions like tapestry weaving are introduced with small, straightforward samplers, while more complex tapestries are creative inspirations for veteran weavers. Jarchow and Steege’s design inspirations and methods include confidence-boosting, patient, and clear instructions for crafters with a range of abilities and experience.
Weaving techniques on a variety of looms, rings, and hoops; weaving around various shapes and forms; and frameless weaving, interlacing, and braiding techniques are included. While yarns are the favorite medium, allowing fiber addicts to use up the bits and bobs from their ubiquitous stashes, there are also creative projects incorporating wire, ribbons, and paper strips. Many projects, like a knotless netting treasure bag and woven wristlets, are designed for portability and stop-and-start crafting. Invaluable information about simple knots, building looms, needles, and yarn sizes is also included.
Not your grandma’s crafts book, The Weaving Explorer is an imaginative, fun, and accessible collection of projects to cozy up to this winter.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.