Building a yardage screen printing table – part 3

Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: Kathryn | Filed under: printed fabric, random making, screen printing, yardage | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

This week has seen the most intensive week in building this table, mostly due the massive amount of measuring, levelling, checking and re-checking and then of course, welding. Aris has made 588 welds to get the table to this point and the surprisingly tedious aspect is that you can’t just stay in the same spot and weld all of the joins at that spot. You have to spread it around, one weld on the 1st corner, one on the second, one in the third, one on the fourth and back to the first again. This is done in an effort to reduce overheating and warping of the metal. It is imperative that the table stays as flat and as level as possible so that when we lay the wooden surface on top, it doesn’t roll and warp. Aris is trying his best to get the best possible printing surface which means being extremely conscientious in monitoring the metal and working it properly.

The good news is that the welding is now complete and I’m so proud and overwhelmed with how hard Aris has worked to get it to this point. He’s done a beautiful job and it is extremely well made. We pulled out the measuring tape, held our breath and measured the length of each side of the table. We were both extremely pleased to see that both sides of the table are exactly the same length and only 1 mm short of the intended length. That’s extraordinary considering that this is his first welding project!

So what’s left to do? We now have to prepare the registration bars, attach them and then we will get painting.

I hope that everyone has a fabulous week. See you next week with an update.

Half of the legs installed:

Printing table legs half installed

All of the legs installed:

Table legs fully installed

Verifying spacing between each leg segment:

Verifying spaces between each legs segment

The long process of levelling each leg using a water-level. We discovered that there is nearly a 10 cm gradient in the floor … thank goodness Aris made the adjustable legs long enough to compensate for such a discovery. Good thinking!

Levelling the table legs

View under the table

This is one of Aris’s ‘learn to weld’ blocks:

Learn to weld block

And look how far he’s come, beautiful weld:

Good weld

More welding, a huge amount of welding:


You can see here between the first and second leg segments, we have welded in six horizontal beams, one on each corner and two in the centre, top and bottom. The third leg has been clamped and braced to the complete unit on the left and it is ready for welding:

Welding in horiztonal beams and braces

Top view of the clamping:

Welding in horiztonal beams and braces

Post welding, grinding the welds on the joins that sit under the table surface, they must be absolutely flat to ensure that the surface sits as flat and level as possible:

Grinding the weld

Making the final welds on the underside of the table, an awkward position:

Making the final welds

And finally, after many hours and a great deal of work, the welding has finished. Isn’t it fabulous?

Finished welding

Building a yardage screen printing table – part 2

Posted: June 1st, 2013 | Author: Kathryn | Filed under: printed fabric, printing, random making, screen printing, yardage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s been a busy week and we’ve had an exhilarating development in the building of our new fabric printing table, it has started to take shape in it’s final position. I’m sure some of you can appreciate how thrilling it is to see it come to fruition, slowly but surely. It is big and is quickly swallowing up the moving (read dancing) space we had in the workshop but it will give us some much needed storage that will enable us to remove all of the shelving and stock taking up more valuable space.

This project has been an epic journey thus far, Aris taught himself to weld so that he could build this table for me so it’s really been a process of discovery, plenty of reading and much practice. Developing new skills is always wonderful and it’s been fun watching him work his way through the problems. We’re excited about the possibility of experimenting with some metal framed furniture once he’s finished.

The bottom of the legs with their cut threads, the feet screw in here:

cut thread to make female connection for foot

With the feet ready, we thought it practical to paint them along with the bottom of the legs before they go down on the floor. The grey paint is one coat of primer and then two coats of black metal paint:

painted table legs and feet

The leg segments, upside down, there are nine of them that will be evenly spaced over the length of the table:

leg segments ready for building the table

The feet finally installed on the legs:

installed feet on table legs

Touchdown, feet finally firmly on the floor:

table feet touching the floor

Capturing the moment when we finally see all of Aris’s hard work come together. We have stabilised the table using wood. With horizontal steel pieces we will now start welding the legs together, segment by segment:

Installing the table

Building a yardage screen printing table.

Posted: May 19th, 2013 | Author: Kathryn | Filed under: printed fabric, printing, random making, screen printing, yardage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

We’re building a yardage screen printing table! Well in truth my husband Ari is building the new print table, and I’m his gofer. It’s a massive undertaking and I imagine that most people when looking at that pile of square metal section would quickly become overwhelmed and somewhat discouraged, but not Ari. So two weeks ago the steel along with the wooden panels for the printing surface and the spacious, very much needed, ‘super shelf’ arrived. Since then we’ve scrubbed and cleaned the steel stock and he’s cut and welded it, this has gone on for days. But after some true grit, the legs are now complete and we are ready to assemble the rest of the table. They have wonderful adjustable feet to ensure that we can level the table easily on our original French ceramic tile floors and in the process he’s also readied the metal for painting. Here are a few pictures from the construction thus far. Next week: assembling the table and welding it into its new permanent spot in the workshop.

I’ve just started using Instagram: . And if you don’t use Instagram, I’ve put the feed on my Facebook page:

A surprisingly small pile of steel. Each piece is 6 metres long and with a very well thought out design and cutting list, very little wastage. Those right angles on top are the registration bars and I’m so pleased to find that they are perfectly straight:

steel for print table, registration bars

You can see by the red gloves that there is a great deal of oil and fine metal particles on the surface. You can weld with this on the surface but it was easier to clean and do the first stages in painting prep now rather than as a table. A few hours and we had them to a point where you could handle them with bare hands and not get covered in oil:


Fine steel particles in the bottom of the bucket after cleaning make lovely patterns textures:

steel particles


cutting steel with a Rage 3 Evolution dry saw

For welding, Aris made a jig that holds the leg sections in place and at correct angles. He would then spot weld to secure them and finish off the welding out of the jig. There are nine of these sections:

Screen printing table leg jig

Cut and brushed steel in the jig ready for welding:

Steel prepared for welding

Welding, so much fun to photograph. I had to take these shots with my eyes closed to protect them from UV overexposure:



Making the female component for the adjustable feet using the drill press:

Drill press

Drill press

The female component on the bottom of the legs ready for welding:

Making the feet. Aris welded various washers and nuts onto the bottom of threaded rod to make the adjustable feet:


After the weld and ready for cleaning and polishing:

Welded adjustable foot

Polished and unpolished feet:

Polished and unpolished adjustable feet

The finished foot, these screw into the bottom of the legs and can be adjusted where need be:

Polished, finished foot

I’ll be back next week with an update on our progress! I hope that everyone enjoys their weekend!

Manufacture des Flandres – Musée du Jacquard – Jacquard Museum

Posted: October 29th, 2012 | Author: Kathryn | Filed under: museum or gallery, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Jacquard card puncher

For me, this place is simply awesome. The Musée du Jacquard in Roubaix, Northern France, is an exceptionally comprehensive museum. There were three of us in our mini tour group and we had our own guide who although not a weaver herself was wonderfully personable, knowledgeable and technically proficient in the use of the machines. The remarkable point of interest of this museum is that all of the looms are in working order and each loom is turned on and operated before your very eyes. The looms are arranged in chronological order so that you can also see the development of the Jacquard loom and the implementation of technology over the centuries. You start your tour with a short introduction to fibre, move onto earlier, simpler looms and work your way through to modern mechanised machines with rapier attachments, automated cutting and full width repeats.

The museum is situated in an old mill in Roubaix. This town has a very long and tumultuous history. Spanning several hundred years the turn of events has been extraordinary: multiple wars, occupation, abolition, fierce, fierce local competition with Lille, and an astounding population growth that rivaled most cities and towns in the rest of Europe. This museum is not to be missed if you are ‘into’ textiles or have an interest in industrial history. The sound of these looms throwing the weft thread, beating the cloth and changing the shafts is invigorating. It is an impressive collection and I’m thrilled that they are maintaining the looms and the history of Jacquard development.

The Jacquard loom was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, the invention is the process and mechanised attachment that controls the loom. It made possible the process of weaving complex patterned cloth like damask and brocade. On a Jacquard loom there are hundreds and thousands of hooks that are attached to strings that hang from the overhead jacquard attachment. Early on, one hook held a number of warp ends (threads) resulting in a number of repeats across the width of the cloth. As technology improved they were able to have a single warp end per hook which resulted in an unrepeated image from selvedge to selvedge. A series of punched cards control these hooks by telling the mechanical head which hooks to lift or lower. Due to the sheer number of warp threads running through the loom it was very difficult to thread the loom but with the new card system, it only needed to be threaded once. If a different pattern was desired, the pattern cards were changed. When the warp ran out or a different coloured warp was required, the new threads were simply tied onto the threads already running through the loom. The invention of Jacquard dramatically increased the creative possibilities for decorative design.

If you are unfamiliar with traditional weaving, and would like to read on please see the Wikipedia entry on weaving and Jacquard weaving.

This post is very long with many images but I thought it best to include all of the photos for those of you who have a deep passion for textiles and weaving. Enjoy!

A partial view of the museum, an early Jacquard loom in the centre. Made of mostly wood with some metal parts it represents true textile innovation:

Jacquard loom

Beautifully shaped moving metal parts on a warper (a large devise used for measuring and applying even tension to the warp):


Jacquard loom

A pattern card puncher. This machine is beautiful:

Jacquard pattern card puncher

A pattern card, each row represents one line in the pattern. Many cards are stitched together to create the full repeat:

Jacquard pattern card

The complicated pattern card punching machine:

Jacquard card puncher

The punched patterns, hundreds of these cards are needed to weave each textile pattern:

Jacquard pattern card puncher

Jacquard pattern card puncher

Jacquard pattern card puncher

A dobby loom, well worked over the centuries:

dobby loom

Details of the dobby loom:

dobby loom

A Jacquard loom:

Jacquard loom

A Jacquard loom:

Jacquard loom

A Jacquard loom:

Jacquard pattern card puncher

Cloth detail from loom:

cloth woven on Jacquard loom

A shuttle-less rapier loom, an alternate method for weaving the weft thread. The rapier system can be used on both Jacquard and dobby looms:

rapier loom

A Jacquard loom:

Jacquard loom

An extremely complex band or ribbon loom operated by a Jacquard attachment. An incredible machine, breathtaking:

Jacquard ribbon band loom

Jacquard ribbon band loom

Each ribbon or band can have a different coloured warp and multiple coloured weft threads but with the same pattern. This loom can weave 12 ribbons simultaneously:

Jacquard ribbon band loom

Jacquard ribbon band loom

Jacquard ribbon band loom

A pile rug on a vertical tapestry loom:

pile rug on vertical tapestry loom

A unique tapestry loom with different types of tapestry and pile carpets on show:

tapestry loom