Technical Specifications of Strip Woven Textiles in Wa
Typical woven strips in the Upper West are between 40–50cm, woven on a semi-loom.
NB: Very few weavers now carry looms in Wa to weave narrow strips i.e. up to 15cm. Smock makers are weaving with traditional looms
Semi-broad loom weaving was introduced almost 50 years ago when St. Annes Vocational Institute was established. However, the traditional strip weaving i.e. up to 15cm is still carried out for and by smock makers traditional wear.
Weavers use a variety of yarns supplied by wholesalers. Yarns are usually rayon as weavers have moved away from cotton threads. Cotton yarns may also be dyed to create designed strips.
Semi-broad and locally manufactured.
Typically, what is referred to as ‘a women’s cloth’ i.e. 4 yards, can be woven in 3–4 days.
Type of Cloth
Different cloths are woven with specifications described as Model 1, Model 2 or Model 3; with Model 3 being the thickest. Typically, woven strips in Wa are presented as Model 3, with thickness used for upholstered fabric (furniture); Model 2 used for denim; and Model 1 is light shirt material.
Weavers would consider the number of dents or gaps per inch in a reed to determine how it is warped (the thickness).
The warps are passed through the dents in the reed. The typical specification of the reeds used in the Upper West have 18 dents per inch. In preparing the warp, when one thread is used per dent, the outcome is coarse. By increasing the number of threads in a dent the outcome is more refined.
Model 1: 2 threads in a dent and filling (weft) with 2 threads.
Model 2: 2 threads in the dent and filling (weft) with 2 threads (however, this can be 4 for the colours that should stand out or stronger).
Model 3: 4 threads in the dent and filling (weft) could be 2/4 threads.