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Message started by Shale on Aug 29th, 2004 at 5:58pm

Title: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Shale on Aug 29th, 2004 at 5:58pm
Hi everyone,

I would like to make a braided sling with a solid woven pouch.  I tried to adapt one of my split-pouch slings by weaving a piece of nylon string through the holes in the pouch braids, but the result was messy and uneven.  Now I plan to start from scratch.  If anyone knows how to make a braided, woven-pouch sling, I would appreciate any advice you might have.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Aug 30th, 2004 at 5:09am
I made a little post about this somewhere.  I was experimenting, and came to the idea of using the same technique the Iroquois used for weaving wampum belts.  Take a thin sapling, not too long, about as long as you want your sling.  Braid one entire cord on the sling, and then stop at the pouch.  Tie the braided cord to one end of the sapling, and tie the unbraided sling strands to the other end, making sure it is taut like a bow (not too taut, otherwise the fibres might break.)  Take one or two combs, depending on the sling pouch design (rectangular [two combs] or diamond [one comb]) and put them into the fibres to separate them out into a braid-able shape, using the teeth on the comb to separate them out well.  Keep the comb(s) in place, and start weaving in your weft, trying to keep the weave as tight as possible.  If you manage that, then maybe you could try a twining weave on your next sling (I haven't done that yet, but I intend to sometime.)  I hope these instructions were as clear as I wanted them to be, but I doubt it.  I'd suggest going to http://www.nativetech.org/wampum/wamphist.htm because there is a very good image of a wampum weaving stick.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Shale on Aug 30th, 2004 at 11:53pm
Thanks, English, I'll check out that site.  I also looked at some native weaving techniques, and thought it might be possible to use the 'spiral-weave' technique.  This technique uses one 'cord' coiled into a spiral, with radiating cross-stiching holding the various coils together.  Native North Americans used this weave to make baskets, but I think it could be adapted to make a sling.  If I use two cords for the coils, I could make an oval-shaped pocket, and then have each cord come out on opposite ends of the pocket for the retension and release cords.  Though this type of sling would be easy to make, my concern is that, since the last coil of each cord would be on opposite sides of the pocket, this sling might have a tendency to twist.  I'll try both techniques and see which one works best.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Hobb on Aug 31st, 2004 at 8:57pm
Woven pouches are surprisingly easy.  I'd start with a minimum of 16 strands (I used 32 to make mine).  Divide them into 4 equal groups, or 'ribs'.  Take another, much longer strand, and whip it (wrap it around) the retention cord.  then just weave it over/under/over/under, coming back around when you get to the last rib.  every time you cross your weaving strand across all four ribs, smush that row back up against the previous rows.  If you do it correctly, the strands you use to make the ribs won't show through, as they'll be completely covered by the weaving strand.  Hope that makes sense.  

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Sep 1st, 2004 at 6:23am
Actually, if you are starting weaving, do it with eight big strands - practise until you can do that easily, and then do to smaller strands and more of them.  The problem is holding the woven shape - tension is required (hence the bow loom) and something to separate the fibres out (hence the comb(s)).  I find a typical sling pouch can take around four hours, which is why I haven't done any for ages.  Look nice though.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Hobb on Sep 1st, 2004 at 11:07am
I guess I need to make a clarification.  Once you've woven a section of the pouch about an inch long, then you split the 4 ribs into 8 ribs.  Continue to weave over/under 4 on one side, making a strap about 2-3 inches long.  Then weave another cord over/under the other four ribs 'til it matches the first strap for length.  Then you re-combine the 8 ribs back into 4 ribs, weave for another inch, and then take the strands making the ribs and continue braiding your release cord.  No need to use larger/smaller strands.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Sep 1st, 2004 at 1:09pm
I also need to clarify.  The larger strands are just for weaving practise, as it were, not for a final sling pouch.  Just to learn how to actually weave to begin with.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Oct 27th, 2004 at 10:53pm
This is great information, as I have a particular interest in woven pouches.  But here's my question:

It's obvious one would need to use at least 16 (or better, 32) strands to make this work well.  What, then, is the best way to form the retention and release cords? A simple "round braid" would tend to become very wide and cumbersome, wouldn't it?

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by WildAtHeart on Oct 27th, 2004 at 11:08pm
do a round braid with all the cords for a few inches, then cut off about half of them so they will be braided in and secure with the main half that continue for the length of the cord.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Oct 28th, 2004 at 4:16pm
Cool.  Thanks, Wild.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Oct 30th, 2004 at 12:33pm
You can actually make a sling pouch with 8 strands.  It's not that difficult.  And sixteen strands is not that much, honestly.  Look for something the size of, say, embroidery silks.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Nov 1st, 2004 at 3:03pm
I have a sling in a weaving jig I knocked up (a comb and two points to suspend the sling from) upstairs.  I have not quite done half the pouch - it is intended to end up as an "Egyptian" or middle east style sling pouch, with a diamond shape, &c.  A woven sling can actually be done quite quickly.  I only started it about half an hour ago, with breaks and coming on here to write this.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 1st, 2004 at 3:36pm
This may seem like a silly question, but it's been bugging me:  what does one do when one's weft reaches the comb in the middle of the pouch, or wherever a comb may be?

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Nov 2nd, 2004 at 1:39pm
That is actually a very good question.  It was bugging me to begin with.  I came up with a solution which works ok, and produces nice pouches.  When making the "diamond" pouch, once I hit the middle, I move the strands closer together in the comb - this naturally narrows the pouch.  Then, I might loosen the hold on the strands, so that the loose fibres will come closer together when you pull the weft - this can be quite difficult to control.  The main drawback is that the "diamond" shape in the middle can fold inwards slightly, although I consider this to be a little better for slinging than a simple flat diamond.  Try to make up your own solutions.  My own works, but it is difficult and sometimes doesn't work great.
 With the Peruvian split pouches, I just move the comb along a little, as the pouch can be just about rectangular, but at the ends naturally it has to narrow.  So I loosen the strands as described above, and pull the weft almost as far as I can.  That way you get nice triangular ends.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 2nd, 2004 at 4:16pm
Thanks for the response, english.  I'll consider that when the time comes.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 3rd, 2004 at 6:29pm
Well, I seem to have successfully woven a pouch!  I used eight pieces of jute, which when doubled become sixteen, of course.  I used the weaving method described on this forum with a rather cobbled-up (but effective) loom consisting of a two-by-four and two pieces of dowel.  When I got to the comb, I simply wrapped the weft around the comb itself, which left a 3/8" gap in the middle of the pouch, but I'm not bothered by it.

As functionality goes, it seems to work great.  Now, granted I only just tested a couple times, because it's dark out and I only had one sock on*.  Anyhow, all seems well.  Thanks for all the advice!


* I tend to use my big toe as an anchoring point for the finger-loop while braiding.  It works pretty well if you're limber!

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Matthias on Nov 3rd, 2004 at 8:14pm
Pictures! Pictures! :D



I hear you on the big toe thing, and slings with a finger loop are just sooo easy that it's tough to _not_ take advantage. Now if only I had a tail to help me keep things straight I'd be set!

Matthias

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 3rd, 2004 at 8:55pm
Alright, you got me.  :)  These are hosted locally, so please don't go slashdotting me:

http://hansenlabs.no-ip.org/weave_top.jpg

http://hansenlabs.no-ip.org/weave_pouch.jpg

The pouch isn't exactly symmetrical, but boy does it hold a load.  I'm pretty surprised by how functional it is.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Gun on Nov 3rd, 2004 at 11:47pm
Nice pics. I am kinda into braiding sling but what i like about you sling is that it look fairly simple. Could you write up a step by step instritions on how to make your sling?

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by tint on Nov 4th, 2004 at 12:20am
Nice pics, Thori!  What material is it made of?  

I have braided mine with hemp.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Nov 4th, 2004 at 10:34am
That looks like a nice sling.  I think the cordage is a bit thick, so the weave is not as tight as it could be, but it looks great.  I might try to take some piccies of my new woven slings.  I'll see if I can get some tonight.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thest on Nov 4th, 2004 at 2:33pm
Alright, this may sound stupid, but when weaving a pouch is the "weft" added in when one reaches the pouch after braiding the finger loop/first cord, or is the weft simply a longer strand that was involved in the braiding? If the weft is added in after, how is it secured in place? Is there a knot that is unnoticeable? Thanks.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 4th, 2004 at 3:54pm
Thest, here's what I did:

I added in the weft when I got to the pouch.  I don't recall how long of a piece it was, but as you can see, my weave isn't too terribly tight, which means less cord for the weft.  It was probably 10 or 11 feet.

My method for securing it was to 'whip' the free ends around their respective cords (release or retention), which is a fancy way of saying I wrapped the ends around the cords a bunch of times.  Then, I took the free ends and, using a handy yarn needle, stuck it through the braid and then wove it downward through the coils.  This worked pretty well.

Here's an ascii representation:

||||| <-- retention cord
|||||
-----  <-- weft wrapped around retention cord
-----
-----
-----
||||| <-- beginning of pouch
|||||

Once it's wrapped around (going upward), just take the free end, pull it through the middle of the braid, and stick it back down through the coils, like a noose.  I chose to weave it through the coils, but I doubt you'd have to.  If you take your time, this results in a neat-looking series of coils, no knot needed.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 4th, 2004 at 4:01pm
Here are some basic instructions:

I used jute twine, which I got 190' of at Wally World for something like $1.30.  I made eight pieces, each roughly 11' in length.  These I braided normally right up to the pouch, after the manner described in Dan Bollinger's article, "Making a braided sling: An illustrated guide" on this site.  The only thing I changed was that I used a four-strand braid to hopefully keep the cords narrower, as jute is fairly thick stuff (1/8").  So, I made my finger loop with eight of the sixteen (when doubled) strands, then joined back up and four-stranded it all the way to the pouch.

At this point, I constructed the jig/loom in my photo out of a two-by-four and a piece of dowel.  The dowels are cut to length and then inserted into pre-drilled holes via the use of a hammer and lots of enthusiasm.  I then slipped the finger loop over the left peg, wrapped the free, unbraided ends around the right peg, pulled the whole works tight, and secured it in place with a piece of cotton string.  I then separated the strands into the comb, making groups of two, resulting in eight strands of two strings each.  The comb, as the shape of my pouch indicates, was in the middle of the pouch (about 5.5" from the end of the retention cord).

After this, I used the weaving methods described by Hobb and english, which are quite sound - cut a weft (a weft being little more than the piece of material you intend to weave over-under-over through the pouch).  I used a piece 10 or 11 feet long, but you may wish to go longer based on your project, as I said.

Then just wrap the weft around the retention cord a few times and start to weaving.

When I reached the comb, I simply went around it and kept going, resulting in the small gap toward the middle of the pouch.  You can experiment to try and eliminate this fault.  When I finished weaving, I removed the works from the loom and braided the release cord, then took 'er outside and tried 'er out!

I know these are minimal instructions, but I'll be glad to answer any specific (or otherwise?) inquiries about my particular method.  english and Hobb, however, are the Masters. :)

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 4th, 2004 at 4:11pm
Speaking of english, do see if you can get some pics online.  I'd like to see some of your work. :)

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Hobb on Nov 4th, 2004 at 4:28pm

Quote:
english and Hobb, however, are the Masters.


Sorry, but I've got to disagree with you there.  Whipartist and Jim Burdine are the masters.  They take sling braiding to an art form!

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by english on Nov 5th, 2004 at 11:50am
I am definitely not a master.  I can braid, and weave, but it is like comparing an amateur watercolourist with Da Vinci or Raphael.
 The weft... well, basically, it's added in, about three inches before you reach the pouch.  It is just braided in along with the other strands.  When the strands are separated out and placed in the comb (the way I do it), the weft is just left out.  I like to use a broad needle with a large eye, or even the toothpick on my swiss army knife (if I'm a bit short of large needles) to act as a shuttle for weaving.  Pictures will be soon, I hope.  I will try to remember to do it this evening.  If not, then tomorrow should be fine.

Title: Re: Braided sling with a woven pouch
Post by Thori on Nov 5th, 2004 at 4:58pm
That's a really slick way of working in the weft, english.  I use a yarn needle or a long hook made from electric fence wire as a shuttle, which really speeds things along.  I think it helped preserve the warp in my painfully homemade loom, too.

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