Why a Kit?

  These pillows allow you to play with Boutonné and improve your technique, no matter your skill level.
imageplaceholder Sara Bixler  
Contributor, Weaving Today

As an instructor, I often ride the fence on my love/hate relationship with weaving kits. I’m continually trying to impress upon my students the confidence to design a piece from start to finish rather than rely on someone else’s ingenuity. But recently I’ve come around to the idea that kits are pretty fantastic, and have so many advantages weavers can benefit from. From my vantage point I love the design process of taking an idea and playing with it to weave a new technique and apply it to a specific need …but for most, this “experimentation” process can be painstaking, long, and expensive–all of which are no fun for most weavers.
Recently I found myself attempting to map out how these wonderfully simplistic images of Boutonné were created with the most rudimentary tools available, putting me into serious experimentation mode. How fun to sit down with a new pack of 4 to the inch graph paper and pencil with a really good eraser to create my own motif. Once the design was finalized I had to sample the sett (epi), my warp and weft materials, and the size of my loops . . . off to my stash!
My experimentation allowed me to master the technique and pass that knowledge along to my students through this kit. It was designed to give students a project that was challenging enough for  advanced weavers but highly achievable for the most novice weavers on as little as two harnesses or a rigid-heddle loom. I have chosen threads that will wear well for its application as a pillow, and the novelty threads, although more modern in their make-up, are a perfect fit for the desired “blooming” effect in each pile lifted to create the motif, making the kits wonderful fun.

For those who love to be constantly engaged in their weaving, this is the perfect project for you as each row is slightly different and builds upon the previous one. I find these projects to go surprisingly fast because you’re constantly wanting to do one more row (for all the knitters out there, you’ll understand this). I hope each of you take on this new challenge to create this one-of-a-kind Boutonné project you can enjoy making and using.


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