Weavings By Georgia

Page Contents

• Product Availabilith
• The Weaving Process
• Where the Heck is Lake Almanor & Chester?

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Fine handwovens, made the old fashioned way

AND MORE ...

This is our catch-all page, where you will find some added information and a few odds and ends that may be helpful or interesting.

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PRODUCT AVAILABILITY

Aside from mail orders, Georgia’s products are also available in Chester, California, at Mountain Custom Framing & Gifts, a wonderful shop located at 278 Main Street (Hwy 36) in downtown Chester (across the street from Holiday supermarket).

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THE WEAVING PROCESS

Here’s a quick look at some of the basic steps involved in weaving something as “simple” as a tea towel.


1. The process begins with the selection of the yarn for the project. For tea towels, 5/2 cotton yarn is used, unmercerized natural for the field and mercerized colored yarn for the accents. The amount of yarn needed for the project is then calculated.

2. The yarn comes from the supplier on cones. If you look carefully at this first photograph, you will see some cones on the shelves in the background. To get the proper lengths needed for the warp threads on the loom, the yarn is measured off the cone using a warping wheel, the item in the foreground of the photo. A guide thread (the thin red line in the photo) is wound in a spiral path around the wheel to assist in the measuring process.

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3. The warping wheel is turned by hand as the yarn is wound in a spiral path to achieve the desired individual thread lengths. This process continues, back and forth, until all of the needed warp threads have been measured off. For a normal batch of tea towels, about 270 individual threads are needed.

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4. Groups of measured threads, called warp chains, are placed on the loom in preparation for loading. The plain and colored threads are separated according to the warp pattern that will be used in the weaving.

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5. The threads are then fed through the reed, one thread at a time, matching the color sequence of the tea towel pattern.

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The reed maintains the warp spacing at so many threads per inch.

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6. Next the threads are individually fed through heddles, again in the proper sequence. During weaving the heddles move up and down, lifting threads in an alternating pattern to achieve the desired woven structure of the fabric. The weaver uses her feet to press on long wooden treadles that cause the heddles to rise and fall.

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7. After passing through the reed and heddles, the threads are secured at each end. On the back side of the loom the threads are tied off to the back beam. On the front they are tied off to the fabric beam. This must be done carefully to ensure an even tension on all of the warp threads.

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8. Yarn is also wound onto long pirns that are loaded into shuttles, carrying the weft threads back and forth across the loom. The initial few lines of weft here are done with light rope as a means of getting the warp threads stabilized before starting the finish weft.

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9. Once the weft gets underway, it’s a matter of working back and forth until the desired length of fabric has been achieved. Warp threads are the “long” threads attached to the loom, while the weft threads are the “back and forth” threads coming out of the shuttle. The colored accents are woven in at regular intervals using a separate shuttle loaded with colored thread. Multiple tea towels are typically woven in a single continuous run.

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10. Of course, more remains to be done after the fabric has been woven on the loom. The material is removed from the loom, washed and dried (which sets the weave and softens the material substantially. The individual tea towels are then cut and hemmed, and after a label is attached, they are finally ready.


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WHERE THE HECK IS LAKE ALMANOR & CHESTER?

Hidden away in the northeastern portion of California, in an area that was simply described as “unexplored country” on Gold Rush era maps, there lies a quiet land that is full of natural beauty. Here the ancient Sierra Nevada rocks meet the “young” volcanics of the Cascades in a setting that is a mix of mountains, forests, meadows, rivers and lakes.

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Looking north from Lake Almanor towards Mt. Lassen in the distance

Lake Almanor itself is a relatively recent addition to the landscape, having been formed as a reservoir in 1914. The 44 square mile lake is at the headwaters end of the extensive Feather River hydroelectric power system. The lake and the several small communities and residential developments that border it are located between Red Bluff on the west and Susanville on the east, at an elevation of approximately 4500 feet above sea level.

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Lake Almanor and its principal town of Chester are in northern Plumas County, itself a completely rural jurisdiction with a county population of about 20,000. It’s a region with limited industry and a very light population density, but boundless opportunities for do-it-yourself outdoor recreation and artistic creativity. Residents must, however, be willing to forego nearby shopping malls and many other urban conveniences or creature comforts.