Clasped weft weaving for handwoven Gypsy Jacket

People kept asking me how many hours it took to weave my first “Gypsy Jacket”. See: First Gypsy Jacket

So, I thought that I would set myself a challenge.

I decided that I would weave another one and log in, keeping track of all the hours I put into weaving a Gypsy Jacket.

I logged in an absurd number of hours of weaving time, and decided that I just didn’t want to know anymore just how many hours I put in.

Why did it take so long?

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Because I was using a very slow technique, of working with 2 sets of clasped wefts to get more color play into my fabric.

I only used one shuttle, but had yarn on cones to the right of the loom, and yarn on spools on a spool rack to the left of the loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The shuttle comes out of the warp strands between picks and sits on the surface of the web, about 6 inches from the left hand edge.
The first motion is to open a new shed, pass the shuttle into the shed, take it out to the left, go under the strands of yarn that are hanging from the spool rack, pull them into the shed with the yarn from the shuttle.

Bring them into the place where you want them to end. There is a double strand of that set of weft strands.
Now, the shuttle goes to the right hand edge and out , and goes under the yarn that is on the cones. The shuttle goes back into the shed, and is pulled up, bringing the 3rd color as far as desired. The shuttle then is moved back to it’s exit point, the shed is closed, beaten, and the next shed is opened. The whole process is repeated.
It’s slow, but you can create pretty intense colorways this way.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Of course, it’s faster to just use one set of clasped weft yarns, but by clasping from both selvedges, you can get some pretty gorgeous patterning.

So far, I have used 5 different looms for this jacket, and still have a couple more that I will be working with to complete the weaving of the parts of the new Gypsy Jacket.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

One section was woven with a cradle loom and a small rigid heddle.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And, one section was woven with a small Goodwood frame loom. I love frame looms, and used another frame loom for other pieces of the jacket.

More weaving to go…. and then the sewing.

Would I sell the jacket?  Well, yes, actually.  🙂



Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

18 responses to “Clasped weft weaving for handwoven Gypsy Jacket

  1. I love the colours you have chosen for this one; itwill be as spectacular as the last one! It may be a slow process, but look at the wonderful results. What is it they say? All good things are worth waiting for! Another handwoven masterpiece!


  2. Thank you so much, Caroline! I do love the way handwoven garments feel, that’s for sure! They are pure magic… 🙂


  3. Wendy

    The colors are spectacular, particularly the purple, green and blues. One of my favorite color combos. This jacket will be a magical work of art that will give you many hours of pleasure. Also love the photo of your feline supervisor.
    On another note, I’m thinking that Anastasia could use a hooded cloak trimmed in faux fur, with a faux fur muff to keep her little paws warm. Or perhaps, I just want one for myself.
    Hugs…and mugs of hot chocolate!


  4. Thank you, Wendy!
    When my daughter saw the colors, she said:’ Oh, Mum! You’re really thinking of the ocean! ‘
    Yes! I am !

    I love these colors together!!!

    I am hard at work designing and making Edward and Anastasia wonderful new outfits for the summer issue.

    I love your idea of the cloak! I will definitely mention it to my editor 🙂

    Ms Kitty is sitting guarding Anastasia’s new outfit. She has an uncanny ability to know what the newest piece of work is, and to focus on it! 🙂


  5. Aleksa

    What a commitment to beauty you’ve made! The colours are so alive! And you let your kitty rest on your creation…


  6. Hi Aleksa
    Thanks so much!!!

    LOL… I have to admit that I raced off and got a sheet to cover up the weaving right after I took the photo of her on the ‘fresh off the loom’ pieces. She’s very opinionated about doing her inspections of all new work!

    This is my ‘Longing for the ocean’ jacket. I can see myself wearing it while standing on the deck of the ferry, watching the waves and being completely delighted!!! 😀


  7. Alice

    I don’t know anything about weaving, but I love the colors you’ve chosen and I love what you create.


  8. Thank you so much, Alice! 🙂 I am loving these colors, too. The weaving has ground to a halt, as I am busy meeting design deadlines. I also have to balance it with working on my new book. More hours in the day would be a good thing!


  9. Oh GRACIOUS!!! Not only is the jacket gorgeous past all possible belief — BUT — seeing it on all the different loomies is SUCH a thrill!!! And the COLORS!!!!! Wow! If you ever DID sell it (ha ha ha) I think a BILLION dollars wouldn’t be enough!

    I am simply in awe of you!

    Much love and a big warm hug from all of us here at Dragonfly Cottage…

    Maitri (¯`’·.¸(♥)¸.·’´¯)


  10. Aw, thank you so much, Maitri! 😀


  11. Bonnie Hayes

    Noreen, the colors and patterns are color-luscious. Wow! Thank you so much for posting your progress. Now I will have to try to get clasped wefts under my brain. May never do it but always want to know about the process. Currently reading a book on Lithuanian weaving. Looking to my roots. I have never gotten past twill…lol..Thanks again.


  12. Hi Bonnie
    Thank you so much! Clasped wefts are really really easy when you just do one shuttle and one clasped weft… I was using 2 clasped wefts, which is much slower, so don’t be put off by that 🙂

    I don’t know anything about Lithuanian weaving… will have to go google that…

    BTW, clasped wefts can be worked with any weave structure, so don’t feel that you need to ‘go beyond twill’ LOL! Tabby rocks!


  13. Susan (rosieandsuz)

    Your new jacket is scrumptious! Your choice of colors is right-on-the-money, and I love that you’re using several looms. Can’t wait to see it finished.



  14. Thank you so much, Susan! I am very excited about my new jacket 🙂
    I love the philosophy of Saori so much.
    It’s lovely to focus on the creative process of working with color and texture 🙂

    Using the Saori pattern book as the jumping off place for my first jacket was a real eye opener for me. I’ve been sewing all my life, but the Saori pattern book made me see fabric manipulation in a new, and exciting way.
    Love it!
    Thanks again!


  15. Sue

    Love the jacket. Have just found this site through originally Knotty by Nature and I like it very much! Lovely work, just wanted to say that, the colours are yummy and the jacket looks so comfortable 🙂 Can’t wait to start weaving myself. 🙂


  16. June Keller

    Would you use a less tight sett – say 8 rather than 10 to help the woven
    fabric not be too stiff? Would that work, or do you just need to use a fairly small thread for the weft?


    • I change the weight of the weft, the sett of the heddles or reeds and the intensity of the beat, depending on how firm I want the fabric. For instance, when I am weaving for hats, I want full bodied fabric. For shirts, I want drape and movement- I love how easy it is to change the variables to create custom fabric! 🙂


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