Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This is not medical advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog.
Don’t Let Weaving Destroy Your Neck And Back
Without getting too preachy. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY.
Glad I got that one out.
Listen, I’m glad you love to weave, and I am ecstatic to hear that you get so into your weaving that time seems to slip away from you.
Time flies? Right?
Due to this, it’s so EASY to lose track of how you are weaving. I don’t mean when your selvedges start to get wonky because you’re paying more attention to Netflix than what you are doing. Instead, I am talking about the weaving hunch.
As weavers we have a tendency to hunch over our weavings. Especially if you are weaving on a horizontal surface like a floor loom or a frame loom without a stand for long periods of time. Even if you start out with great posture, the longer you go – the more likely you will get distracted by the process and lose that ideal weaving position.
I get it.
It’s hard to keep your posture. I am SUPER guilty of this, but I also refuse to let something I love to do cause havoc on my health.
If we continue this way, we won’t be able to weave forever.
So here is what I am proposing:
Re-adjust your weaving surface as needed.
And not totally related… but drink some water.
We could all probably stand to drink more water.
Why Weaving Position Matters
Weaving while hunched over is not ideal because it can put a strain on your neck and back. Stretching occasionally is always recommended, but starting in the right weaving position to begin with will help a lot. If you think about it, it’s just like sitting at a computer all day. We all know that’s not good for you either.
You want to be weaving with your frame loom in front of you at a height where you are not constantly looking down at or bent over it.
Weaving this way is also great for viewing the weaving as you are creating it. This is especially true if it is destined to be a wall hanging.
Any time that you can create your artwork close to the position it is intended to be viewed – the better you can evaluate as you go. That is a trick that I learned from when I used to draw.
It’s all about perspective.
So how do we fix this without buying a new loom?
DIY Frame Loom Stand
There are a lot of different kinds of frame looms that you can weave on. Some of these stand upright, and others have a piece in the back that serves as a sort of kickstand. I’ve already talked about my favorite frames to use for weaving, but if you’ve missed it – I re-purpose picture frames or use painting stretcher bars to weave on.
Blog post HERE if you want my reasons why I prefer these simple looms over their commercial counterparts.
One of the disadvantages of using a simple frame loom like this instead of one of the others listed above is that they don’t have a handy built in stand to keep your weaving surface upright.
To be fair, not all commercial looms have this either.
So in that case – what do you do if you want a more vertical surface?
A Low-Tech Solution
Use a cone of yarn, a stack of books, a low shelf, or something else that is tall to prop up the back of the weaving so that it sits at about a 75 degree angle. You can stop here, but there’s a good chance that it will slide down occasionally which can be pretty annoying.
I like to then take a straight ruler or dowel rod and attach it to the table I’m working on with a few pieces of tape. Painter’s tape or some other tape that comes off easily and doesn’t leave residue is ideal.
At this point, the frame should stay in place while you’re working. With a more upright frame – you will sit taller and start out in the right weaving position.
Other options for your ideal weaving position?
Prop your frame up on your lap and against your desk or dining table (works best with a large frame.)
Sit on the floor and prop it up against your coffee table.
Hang it on the wall and stand while you weave.
Purchase that commercial loom with a stand or an upright tapestry loom.
Whatever option you choose, just make sure to take care of yourself so you can keep on weaving!
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