Last couple of weeks have been interesting. I kept on doing some samples to try out different thickness of acrylic yarn to weave with the PET yarn, they all work pretty good but I like thinner ones the best. With some help from Emilie in Lima we found a company where we can get the yarn from and now Charlot is working on making that work.
I put a quite a lot of effort into finding clip on feet for the stool but it seemed impossible to find the right kind of feet in the right color and size. After discussing this with Gaspard, he came up with the idea of 3d printing them from recycled filament. What a well fitting solution for this problem. He has already made them at this point and it’s working perfectly.
The plan with the weaving was to weave it with a comb, we lasercutted them ourselves and I tried it out but it didn’t work great. So me and Charlot went for a visit to Leslie Eisinger who will be making the prototypes of the belts. She has a lot of knowledge in weaving and textiles. It was fantastic to meet with her and I got a lot of new information and answers to questions that I’d been struggling with. I basically found out that the comb was never going to work but Leslie showed me a different method of doing band-weaving that would probably work. We decided to call it the weaving-guitar.
This meant that I also needed to add a spacer for the beginning and the end to keep everything in place. I made some try outs by lasercutting them out of acrylic sheets and it’s going to work fine.
From the pictures from Leslie I made a draft of the weaving-guitar in my little workshop, took me a while to figure out how it actually worked but it all came together. From there on I did some adjustments and then I decided to make a new one from stronger material because the PET yarn is so strong that the MDF was almost breaking after I found a way to tightening it of well enough. It worked great untill I came closer to the end and I couldn’t get it to work for the final part. I swear to god I tried all different kind of adjustments and just starred at this weird machine for hours untill I finally came up with a solution. Thats when the weaving-guitar got some extra handles and it actually worked!
I did some more adjustments to it and it has become more user friendly at this point. I really like how it looks actually but that was not really the point it the beginning. Form follows function. Now I am going to make a real size belt today and tomorrow and if it goes well then this can go to Leslie very soon so she can try it out and at the end make the prototypes for us.
Things are looking pretty positive at this point.
After finally deciding on the colors of the acrylic yarn that I want to use with the plastic yarn I went for a hunt to find the these colors in the right weight. I only found green that is both right color and thickness but I bought some similar colors in similar thickness to keep on working. I’ve also been in contact with our contact person in Peru to find the yarn over there as well for the production.
My main focus now has been figuring out the weavings, how to involve the acrylic yarn so it both looks right and can be done pretty fast. It’s been extremely frustrating to make these try out because it’s slow and I don’t like slow. I could only manage to do three of these try outs in one day and some of them didn’t even work well enough to be photographed. I was pretty sure that making it in stripe pattern would work the best but after some try outs it was really not working out for numbers of reasons. After taking a break from it for couple of days (I was pissed off and didn’t want to look at it) it finally started to make sense again. I found out that the best way would be to have it completely weaved in the plastic waste yarn, acrylic yarn or with very big stripes. Then I also tried to weave plastic yarn and acrylic yarn at the same time that gave me some new different results and it was a faster process. It also gave me more abstract pattern, underlining the craftsmanship instead of trying to make something perfect that was never going to be perfect.
The problem was though that I knew it would look completely different as three belts on a stool comparison to my small samples. But due to how long it takes me to make them I couldn’t really try it out. So my solution was to spray paint the frame and then just photoshopping the weaving samples and print them out on paper just to give me some idea of what would actually work together. It looks pretty crappy but it did give me a pretty clear idea of how it would work. At the end I think the the weavings with the plastic waste yarn and acrylic yarn weaved at the same time is going to give the best result. It looks like a new material and it works well together.
This has been such a big heavy step to figure out that I feel like I am on cloud nine right now. Pheww. Now I can finally keep on going.
Next week I should get the tools to make the first real belt and I will be looking into more final detailing. It feels like it’s all coming together.