About Us

BY HAND TEXTILES is a cooperative of textile makers deeply committed to their craft and to each other. We each began weaving alone. Realizing that we were missing the wisdom of other weavers, we separately found our way to our local weavers’ guild. There we found community, knowledge and most importantly, each other. Some of us focus on clothing design and weave to create the necessary cloth. Some focus on rug weaving, others on creating with small looms.  Some spin, some dye, but we all love everything involved in creating textiles.

Each member brings their unique skills to the group where we cross pollinate ideas and collaborate. We find that we take so much more back to our studios that way. Sometimes we get outlandish maker ideas and grab each other to give them a whirl.

We share our antics, our successes and our mishaps, and our fiber-related travel adventures on our blog. In our Members section you’ll find our individual bios and galleries. If you have something to add we want to hear about it.

Our textiles are a compilation of our joint exploration and of our friendship. We think our textiles mirror the vibrancy and complexity such endeavors require. We share our little community with you with lots of gratitude.

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Our Process

Usually when the creative urge strikes one of us we tend to run the idea by each other.  I do not mean the urge to make something already in our repertoire. I mean an idea that is much more fun to figure out and implement with others. That is exactly how we ended up duck taping our bodies for hours, layer upon layer, until we had dress dummies that are perfect replicas of our bodies.  As Karen says, “We are a YES group”.  You can read about some of these creative itches scratched on our blog page.


We also have quiet contemplative creative moments.  We thought it might be fun to talk about how we approach projects individually.


I really enjoy the planning process.  I am currently beginning to weave a Rep runner for my son and his girlfriend. My first move is to scour through books and the internet for inspiration.   Sometimes I am already inspired by something I have seen in nature etc.  In this case, I need to crank out a gift asap and they want a runner so I looked for a published draft that I could tailor to them.


I wanted a relatively straight forward project this time.  I read several books on rep weave and decided to go with a draft from Rep Rips Reps by Lucienne Coifman called “Seven Shades of Red” and proceeded to make it my own.  I do not like weaving others’ published drafts especially as they did.  But time is of the essence so I chose some different colors and played with the blocks a bit.  All the credit for the draft and idea goes to Lucienne.


I usually draw out my design on graph paper with colored pencils and then make a color wrap like these.


The wraps allow me to see the color interactions clearly.  Occasionally I will use Fiberworks software to design a project but I much prefer graph paper.


Once I am happy with my choices I proceed to drawing my warping and threading sequences in color.  I also chart out profile drafts.


I warp my loom and I am finally ready to weave away. I always weave samples before I begin my project in earnest. Later the samples are finished with variations of water and agitation.  That way I know exactly what my materials can do and I can finish my main woven piece appropriately.