Braided Assomption Sash
- Thanks to Richard, Negay, Lucinda and Janis for your interest. I read
all you comments and questionning. I don't think that I have the
answerd but I can share the process I used to understand
fingerbraiding. Research so called Off-Loom is very young so
archaeology of textile and I'am involved in both. Here in an
itinarery of my research on Braided Assomption Sash.
In 1975, I learn like others Assomption sash technique with the
terminology of weaving and explain like other that it is a braiding
technique. As a teacher, I became aware from students of the
ambiguity of the terminology I used. As students learn from me, so I
learn from them. I was confront with my own not solving-problem
issues and try to find solution. I was aware that I have no referal
or back ground on braiding to explain it. So in 1998, I decided to
start a research on structure of fabric. Most of the serious books
are written on English and my French is my first language. But I
realized that even in English there is a problem distinguish the
difference between braiding and weaving. I understand that in North
America, trying to save the technique of the magnificient braided
Assomption sash or other magnificient braided sash design muke us
work in a process of survival skills. It was a priorities. So the
first books and descriptions were written by weavers artisans and
weaving terminology. But around 1970, Japan open their knowledge with
the rest of the worlf, as I remember learning Raku technique in 1974
with potery teacher who used to get their to learn but their
knowledge of braiding come to me with the book of Noemi Speiser in
1998 only. Than I phone her and ask her to supervised my research and
she agree. We have a strong communication for at least 5 years and my
learning process improved till I publish the result of my research in
2005 with the book Le tressage au-dela du trois brins (Braiding
Beyond Three Threads). It may be frustrated not to have it in English
but I work on it so for my web site www.michellebeauvaistressage.ca .
Using the vocabulary of weaving for years, I agree that it was
difficult to change my vocabulary for the one of braiding but it
becomes so coherent. I used it since more than 5 years now and the
students who start learning the braided Assomption sash by learning
first the structure of fabrics integrated it naturally. Than I met
Makiko Tada and come to the International Conference in Kyoto last
November. Since, I decided to learn Kumihimo with her as a trainee at
her studio in Tokyo than I came to the point that students learning
any kind of braiding should start by Kumihimo practicing to
understand the structure. So I came back home and introduced it as an
introduction to learn braided Assomption sash. So the learning of
working with a tool and off-tool process of braiding. I started the
Braided Fabrics Guild in 2004 and student are very excited to
discovered the history of braiding all over the world, I introduced a
powerpoint lecture with the support of Makiko Tada. The regional
Braided Assomption sash and others braided sash design are now
integrated in the evolution of braiding technique and it make sense.
In Japan, there is no ambiguity, braiding and weaving are two
different structure of fabric-making process. Noemi Speiser learn
Kumihimo in Japan in 1970 abd her book The Manual of Braiding publish
first in1983 is a must-have for every one who is interested in all
kind of braiding including Assomption sash.
Now there is referal to support the understanding of braiding. The
definition of the term braiding by Irene Emery The Primary Structure
of Fabric (1966) was elaborated later by Noemi Speiser in her must-
have book publish first (1983) so the Dorothy K. Burnham paper
Braided "Arrow Sas" of Quebec (1976) and her book The Comfortable Art
(1981) were she speak about Indian and Frech Braiding.
Here I introduced that a recent dicovery of archaic fragments textile
(Turnbull 1976) were fond on Augustine mound Sites in Readbank, New-
Brunswick, Canada Province on Atlantic. They are dated 2,500 years
from now. So the the specialist on textiles met at a round table on
the subject in Washington D.C. Speiser was there with Emery and
Burnham at the related subject. The description of one of these
fragment by Joleen Gordon 2000 was publish in 2002. It is sais that
the distinctive diagonal weaving with more than one colour has an
obvious similarity to the colourful waisline sashes worn by First
Nation people and the much later "ceinture fléchée" belts worn by the
seventeetcentury French "coureur des bois" and the so called later
Assomption sash in 1850. Also a paper from Taylor and Taylor publish
in 2006 at the Textile 10th Bianneal Symposium in Toronto speak about
these archaic fragments and you can see the photo of some of them at
the web site www.stephenataylor.com .
The paper of Noemi Speiser The three Supercategories of Fabric-Making
Process and the description of the vignettes is also a must-have. It
is publish in Strands isues #10 of the Braid Society (2003) and in
french with her permission in my book Le tressage au-dela du trois
brins. The fact that a fabric is work with finger as nothing to do
with the diagonal or oblique direction of the elements in the
structure of braiding. The used of the term weaving is not
appropriate in this case. There the used of fingerbraiding or
handbraiding. Free ends braiding is not a fingerweaving.
Here I speak about the Loop-Manipulation basic instructions by Noemi
Speiser with the collaboration of Jennie Parry (2002) where even if
this book relate exclusively with diagram A2 p.2, the loop-
manipulation learning technique teach us that the typical handwork
intented fabric can be illustrated with two distinct diagram. The
distinction between weaving and braiding structure as a typical
handwork (without tool) is well illustrated. The A1 diagram speak
about that set of loops can serve as a warp, forming a sheds for
introducing a weft (two sets of elements). In A2, it can be obliquelu
interlaced (one set of elements).
In the book of Masako Kinoshita Study of Archaic Braiding Technique
in Japan + Guide for English-language Readers (1994) I was proud to
look at the first colour photo of a magnificient braiding technique
fabric as she described the Braided Assomption Sash. She said that
the stuctural pattern of the oblique interlace wide bands made by
native American of Quebec, Canada are so well controled that it is
hard to believe the sashes are actually made with no mechanical aid.
My next step is to learn loop-manipulation braiding with Masako
Kinoshita an expert near by geograpphically. Making research involved
a strong communication with experts which from who you can develop
your understanding on a specific subject and construct your own
meaning with caring, sharing and respect.
Thanks in advance for taking time to read this extended paper.
Please do not hesitated to contact me.
- Hi, Michelle,
Thank you very much for the detailed and helpful history of braiding and weaving.
I saw your website and your work is beautiful. The colors and patterns are exquisite.
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- Hi Michelle -
Thank you for your explanations and for the excellent references.
I've obtained from the library Burnham's 'The Comfortable Arts.' It
appears to have a lot of information. And I'll get out my copy of
Speiser which I've had for years but rarely delve into. A single
page exhausts me! I am in awe of her technical drawing ability - the
diagrams really do clarify the braid structures. I agree with you
that it is definitely the braiders' Bible.
Your website is handsome - and, I expect, informative. Sadly I
struggle with the French text. My fault for not paying more
attention in school.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Michelle Beauvais"
> . . .knowledge of braiding come to me with the book of NoemiSpeiser in
> 1998 only. Than I phone her and ask her to supervised my researchand
> she agree. We have a strong communication for at least 5 years andmy
> learning process improved till I publish the result of my researchin
> 2005 with the book Le tressage au-dela du trois brins (BraidingEnglish
> Beyond Three Threads). It may be frustrated not to have it in
> but I work on it so for my web sitewww.michellebeauvaistressage.ca .
> Now there is referal to support the understanding of braiding. The
> definition of the term braiding by Irene Emery in The Primary
> of Fabric (1966) was elaborated later by Noemi Speiser in her must-Arts
> have book publish first (1983) so the Dorothy K. Burnham paper
> Braided "Arrow Sas" of Quebec (1976) and her book The Comfortable
> (1981) where she speaks about Indian and French Braiding.