The geometrical patterns of woollen blankets or patchwork quilts have a lot in common with mosaics. They are based on the same idea of making an image from small areas of colour joined without spaces. In patchwork the pieces are sewn edge to edge (see Topic 3, Example 1). In weaving, the cloth is made up of threads that cross one another so one shows at a time.
Wales has a tradition of weaving patterned blankets (see also Topic 11 Example 1). Modern designers like Melin Tregwynt in Pembrokeshire continue the tradition. Their website has films about how they design and weave (in English).
You will need: some big sheets of paper in four or five different colours, glue stick or sticky tape.
The task is to try weaving with strips of coloured paper to find out how patterns are made. Work in pairs.
- Measure lines on the sheets of coloured paper 1cm apart from top to bottom and cut them out to make lots of strips.
- Choose two colours (for example red and green) and stick the strips across a horizontal strip at one end. These will be the vertical strips in the weaving. You can put them in whatever order you like. (For example, you could put red-green-red-green all the way across the dowel or you could put red-green-green-red-red-red-green-green-red.)
- Now take one of the other coloured strips and weave it between the vertical strips from one side to the other, in front then behind. Start at the top. You may need sticky tape to hold the ends in place.
- Continue weaving in one row at a time until you get to the bottom.
- You can vary the pattern (for example behind one and in front one; or behind one and in front two).
- See how a pattern starts to form.
- Make sure the strips are all pushed up to fit closely. Tape the bottom to hold everything together and cut off any waste parts sticking out at the sides.
- You have a weaving!
- You could try lots of combinations of colour and order.