Do People Misunderstand Your Weaving?
Are you a weaver who gets no respect? Are you tired of people misunderstanding your weaving? You aren’t alone. Here are my top 10 reasons for believing the non-weaving world doesn’t get it. I bet there are many more. Send some to me!
- While I was demonstrating weaving at a county fair, a mother came by with two little kids. I was startled when I heard her tell the kids that I was knitting. I don’t like to correct parents in front of their children, so I bit my lip and tried to gently lead her in the right direction.
- An acquaintance of mine frequently asks me if I was still doing that “knitting thing.” I’ve run out of replies, besides “Yes, I knit, but I self-identify as a weaver.”
- People who use of the word “looming” to refer to weaving. Looming is a word—just not the word the user means.
- Likewise, the use of the word “weaving machine.” It’s a loom! You just don’t “loom” on it. You can loom over it, but that’s a completely different activity.
- People who say weaving looks too complex, too repetitious, too tedious, too whatever, for them to enjoy. (Really? What does that say about me?)
- Organizations that ask me to demonstrate weaving (for free!) and then expect me to wear a colonial costume. I don’t work at Colonial Williamsburg, with a closet full of period clothing. I did have a girl-crush on Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was eleven, but I have a cellphone, drive a car, use a computer, and have never lived without running water.
- Non-weavers who think using a computer as part of my design process is cheating. Do they think it’s cheating to use a word processor for writing?
- Friends and family who think the handwoven towel I gave them is too good for them to use. Why would I weave a towel that is too good to use? My response: “Use it or give it back. If it wears out, I’ll weave another.”
- Non-weavers who believe guilds are part of an antiquated system. Perhaps the system is old, but today’s guilds are one of the best things going. For a minimal fee, guild members get a year’s worth of interesting programs and workshops, community, and fun.
- People who tell me that they can buy what I make by hand on my loom, from a big box store. I’ve got news for them: they can’t.
Share your experiences of dealing with the non-weaving world. I’d love to hear them! Send them to Handwoven@interweave.com.