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Inkle Loom Sash Weaving

Inkle Loom Sash Weaving

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A pictorial essay on Metis women's use of the Inkle Loom.
A pictorial essay on Metis women's use of the Inkle Loom.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Jul 19, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/12/2013

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Inkle Loom Weaving

For many decades, Metis women have made narrow sashes and hatbands on portable Inkle looms. This was an old Irish method of sash weaving whose origin can be traced to 15th century. The sash is known in Ireland as a crios. The Inkle loom is characterized by a wooden framework upon which dowels have been fastened. These dowels will hold the warp threads when the loom has been dressed. It creates a type of warp-faced weaving where the shed is created by manually raising or lowering the warp yarns, some of which are held in place by fixed heddles. This is an ancient type of weaving being referred to in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. The term “Inkle” simply means “ribbon” or “tape” and probably refers to a similarly structured woven good that could have been made on different types of looms, such as a box-loom.

Mary Conway making a sash on her large inkle loom (Metisfest, 2011)

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Verna DeMontigny with her culture display at Brandon Winterfest, her Inkle Loom is shown above, with a hat band in progress.

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Jaqueline Leforte with loom and culture display at Brandon Winterfest

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Completed Metis sash of the type made by Jacquie Leforte and Verna DeMontigny.

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Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute

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