Last October I had the opportunity to visit the Cleveland Art Museum. They were just about to open an exhibit of ancient Andes Wari art. My weaver friends urged me to enter a proposal for the Tunic Project.
Now, according to Mary Frame, sprang was known to pre-Columbian people in what is now Bolivia.
I entered a proposal for a sprang tunic with a design inspired by the face-fret patterns in the Cleveland Art Museum exhibit.
Initially I ordered some baby alpaca and silk yarn from KnitPicks. I set up my tunic and started work. The yarn was quite soft and fuzzy. After struggling for a couple of inches and plenty of warp sizing (a whole can of spray starch) I decided to abandon this warp, set it aside for now, and turn to a tried-and-true worsted: Bockens Mobelatta.
I submitted a proposal for a sprang tunic. This is a circular warp. I figure I am working from the neck down. When the cloth is finished, I will open up a slit at the center for the neck hole.
The tunic needs to be finished before Christmas, to get it to Cleveland by early January.
The weaving on the circular warp completed, I cut it apart at the knees.
I tied the loose ends into fringes. The whole thing curled quite badly (as to be expected) Blocking is required for sprang garments. This means a soak and then squeeze out in a towel.
The tunic seemed to need side panels. This will ease the closure under the arms, attaching front to back. I set up a figure-8 warp.
My ‘tunic’ took second prize at the Cleveland Museum of Art. It will be on display in their atrium starting January 15.
A big Thank You to Haley for the great job modelling!
See a video that features some of the ‘making of’ at