We all know that tapestry weaving involves discontinuous weft, but have you ever seen weaving with discontinuous warp and weft? It’s called scaffold weaving, and it’s been around for at least a thousand years. In scaffold weaving, warp threads are clasped during warping, then the sections of warp are woven separately. As the weaver nears the end of a scaffolded section, the shed diminishes, so the pattern must be needle-woven near the warp joins. The Incas used this technique to make geometric stair-step designs that expressed their religious beliefs, and some scaffolded pieces were even woven, shibori or “tie-dyed”, and reassembled to form new designs.
Weavers in Pitumarca create
a scaffolded warp