The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “textiles”

Navajo Weaver Clara Sherman Cards and Spins

Navajo weaver Clara Sherman shows us how she cards and spins the wool she uses to weave rugs.

Using A Navajo Spindle

joyofhandspinning (Tulasi Zimmer) shows us how to use a Navajo spindle. Navajo spindles are large, relatively heavy support spindles used by Native peoples in the Southwest US. The spindle is supported by the floor/ground and your thigh.

Theresa demonstrates spinning on a Navajo spindle.

The Useful Basswood/Linden/Tilia/Lime Tree

The basswood, also known as the linden, tilia or lime tree has a ton of uses, grows widely (in different varieties) throughout North America and Europe and is easy to identify.

I’d been reading about its use by Native Americans to make fiber and cordage/rope: From NativeTech

“Fibers were stripped from the inner bark of the basswood tree. After long pieces of bark were removed from the tree the sections were soaked to facilitate separating the fibers from the inner bark. Basswood fibers could be used immediately for simple lashing, or the fibers could be dried and stored for future use. Other items made from dyed basswood fibers include tumplines or burdenstraps used to carry heavy loads, fine twined storage bags and closely woven mats used to strain maple syrup. Sheets of basswood bark were also used as winter coverings for wigwams. Iroquois found the wood ideal for carving, the grain being soft and light.”

It’s flowers make a pleasant, medicinal herbal tea.

According to Wikipedia:

“Linden flowers are used in colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. The flowers were added to baths to quell hysteria, and steeped as a tea to relieve anxiety-related indigestion, irregular heartbeat, and vomiting. The leaves are used to promote sweating to reduce fevers. The wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). That wood burned to charcoal is ingested to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat edema or infection, such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg.”

The basswood/linden’s leaves (especially the young, tender leaves), fruit and seeds are also edible.

In the following video Green Deane gives us the low-down on the linden; how to identify it, some of its uses, how to prepare it (he adds young leaves to a salad) — he also points out other edible plants he comes across growing nearby.

Caleb Musgrave in Ontario, Canada who has Ojibway heritage goes even more deeply into the many qualities and uses of the basswood. He says “Very few people look at these trees and think, ‘Wow, you’re really useful.'”

But of course those people would be wrong.

In this video, he covers more of the edible uses for basswood. He also confirms what Green Deane said about basswood tasting like lettuce — tree lettuce.

HerbMentor talks to Lexi Koch in Washington State about how to grow and harvest linden for herbal use (there doesn’t seem to be much to it).

Here Whitney Gerschke talks about linden (basswood) as a useful herb and shows us how to make linden basil ice tea.

Intro to Drop Spindles

Ruthann McCaulley talks about different kinds of spindles and how to use them.

All About Alpacas

Jill Bergman covers many different aspect of raising alpacas.

If you are interested in this topic the full suite (and it is extensive) of alpaca videos is available here.

Introduction to Spinning With A Drop Spindle

Drop spindles are an inexpensive (easy to make from materials on hand and you can buy one for as little as $12), portable way to spin — versus using a spinning wheel — and many people find that they also give them more control over the yarn they produce.

Abby Franquemont talks about the concept of spinning (the orientation of the fibers, what needs to happen to create yarn, what spinning accomplishes, etc.) and shows us how to spin on a drop spindle. Her demonstration spindle here is a high whorl or top whorl spindle. This is a really informative video.

Here is another top whorl spindle spinning tutorial by Megan McCourt. She’s sitting and using her knees to anchor the spindle. Abby was demonstrating spinning standing.

joyofhandspinning (Tulasi Zimmer) gives us a short bottom whorl spindle tutorial:

Here Sheila Dixon demonstrates a Turkish drop spindle, a unique kind of bottom whorl spindle:

Turkish spindles are useful since with them you create a ball of yarn as you spin and because they can be taken apart, which makes them a good option for portability.

In this video Ruthann McCaulley demonstrates a takli support spindle. Support spindles (just means that the spindle makes contact with the floor, a table or a bowl – so that its weight is supported by these objects and not by the yarn you are spinning) allow you to make fine yarn and thread.

Ruthann is spinning cotton and starts her tutorial with making a puni (which is like the cotton equivalent of roving; the fiber is prepared in a continuous cord).

Learning to Spin On A Spinning Wheel

Sue MacNiven in the UK shows us how to spin yarn on a spinning wheel:

More on using a spinning wheel from the PIPA Project:

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