Thursday, 5 August 2010
An Izaribata or Jibata is a traditional type of Japanese loom that is used specifically for tight weaves of natural fibers such as hemp and nettle. It is also used for weaving ragweave as it can be beaten to a tight windbreak-proof weave. They are also used to weave Yuki Tsumugi the un-spun silk in the Yuki area. The weave is tight. Ones body actually becomes part of the loom controlling the tautness of the warp. The warp is beaten with both the reed as well as the baton-like shuttle with the tightness partially controlled with the weaver's back tension resulting in the tightest weave possible.
Here Yokoyama san is trying out a back strap loom.
There are pro's and cons to this kind of loom. You can't weave fast. You are almost stuck with plain weave. But you can weave tight and you are forced to think of what the essence of beautiful piece of cloth is because you are working with such a primitive and sensitive type of loom.