It took another couple of weeks before I had the opportunity to do this but I did get there and I sure was delighted to have taken the time to also have experienced the research and weaving spot in this museum.
Anna gets to work on this loom every day, this is her job! And right now she is close to the end of a large project which has seen her prepare the loom and weave a sail to be used for the Skuldelev boat which is under construction right now. If all goes well it will be ready for sailing sometime in 2011 or 2012. The sail is woven in strips which are 67 centimeters wide and eight lengths of 5.5 meters each are needed to make the desired size of 25 square meters for the sail.
Anna's loom had been lengthened/heightened in order to let her weave more efficiently. It takes her two hours to untie the weights and spools to lengthen the warp. Anna can weave about 10 cm (4") a day, thus it is rather important to be working efficiently when she is at the loom.
The shed/shafts can be moved down as the weaving progresses when the side beams are of this taller kind and a longer piece of weaving can then be achieved before having to go though the exercise of rolling up the cloth and lengthening the warp threads again.
Many, many spools to be gently loosened from their weight, let down and then tied off and secured again.
Using a temple to keep an even width on the piece all through the forty some meters of weaving seems to be a most brilliant idea.
The yarn is singles, the density of the warp is .... I do believe 12 ends pr centimeter and the picks I believe are woven at a density of 9 per centimeter.
Below are three photos of the information found next to the loom, click on them each individually for a closer look.
And here is Anna at work again. I was very fortunate to be able to chat with her for a little while and to watch her intently for a while longer. Observing how her hands moved on the loom, helping the warp separate when she changed the shed. The force of the metal weaving sword as she used it to beat the weft into place after positioning each new strand of weft into the ever changing shed.
My luck is that I found the article she mentioned during our conversation on the museum website about the research done for these sails. It is many pages long and due to the course my life is sailing along at at the moment I will just rejoice that I know where the article is and when I return to NS in a few months I will take the time to read this exciting research paper.
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