Names perform an important function in our society. They have the practical function of allowing us to identify something, but they also actively bring something to the identity of their owner. We grow into our names and they infuse new meaning into us, creating invisible links with the rest of our world. Here is an introduction to the naming system for our woven wraps.
There is something very creative and spiritual in naming something. There is a universally permeating idea of the act of naming being the spark that brings something to life. Naming objects allow us to create a connection with them. Giving our wraps names is a fun and exciting part of the whole creative design process. It feels as though it makes them complete and allows us to hand them out of our care and share them with others. It is both an active and passive experience. We search for suitable names, making suggestions to each other, following different trains of thought and refining them. At some points we have to stop searching and allow the right name to ‘float’ up and show itself.
Whilst this satisfies our creative needs, we both love a bit of scientific organisation and knew that we would need to have a naming system that allowed us to classify and organise wraps, to show lineage and connection between them all. Even writing that made me excited, such is the level of geekery within me!
There are 3 main (clearly visible) variables that make up a wrap. The warp that it is woven on, the colour and patterns of weft yarns used and the design woven into the cloth.
We decided on a system that would give every wrap three names
Whilst that creates pretty long names, it allows you to group similar wraps by any of the main variables. The weft is the biggest area of difference- so they come first in the order. If a wrap’s name is going to be shortened for ease, then that nickname is going to include the weft name. Barnacle Aqua Seafoam is the only wrap woven with the barnacle weft, and is often just referred to by the weft name (or the shortened, anthropomorphised name of ‘Barney’).
The warp and design names show which ‘family’ the wrap belongs to. A warp is a shared thing- A long warp is put on the loom and then several different wefts and designs will be woven onto it. All the wraps with ‘Dendron’ as their warp name will have been woven at the same time, and at one point been joined together, until they were cut off the loom and put onto rolls ready to go to the workshop for cutting and hemming. Some warps, such as Twilight or Obsidian have been dyed and put on the loom repeatedly over the course of the past 5 or 6 years.
The design name is the broadest of the categories and the most consistent. We only add new designs infrequently.
So you can see the links between wraps.
Bifrost Obsidian Charters Moss has a rainbow coloured weft and an Obsidian black warp, whereas Obsidian Cyano Starmap used a cotton weft dyed the same ‘nearly black’ colour as the Obsidian warp, woven onto a turquoise and green ‘Cyano’ warp.
Cloudburst Cascade Seafoam, Cloudburst Moorland Seafoam and Cloudburst Callisto Seafoam each have the same weft and design, but differing warps.
Further to these classifications, we also have the type of weave used, whether it be Alchemy, Elements or the more recently added Synergy.
This isn’t featured in the naming system at all, but it has thrown us a new challenge!
Alchemy and Elements wraps both work in the same way- a single set of wefts, woven across a clearly visible warp in a design. You can easily identify the warp colour and use it to group those ‘related’ wraps together.
Synergy doesn’t work in the same way as the other two. It still follows the same principle of weft woven onto warp, however for the most part, the warp is completely hidden inside the cloth, and the two colours that pick out the pattern are two different wefts, with the warp sandwiched between them!
We had to think had about how we could name these wraps. The internal warp colour really affects your perception of the weft colour, so that the same weft woven on a blue warp will look very different to one woven on a red warp. We wanted to demonstrate that somehow, and decided that for these wraps we would omit the warp name altogether! Instead, we would give each wrap a name that denoted the colour created by the combination of both the wefts and the hidden warp together. Then, just because we were changing things up so much, we chose to have the design name come first with these wraps! It just felt ‘right’.
So Geode Nocturnal and Geode Diurnal both use the exact same weft yarns, but woven on different coloured warps. Diurnal denotes the weft colours as you see them combined with the mustard yellow warp, and Nocturnal is those same wefts with the darker purple warp hidden underneath them. For the sake of our database we still include details of which coloured warp is hidden inside the synergy weave wraps, but we don’t use the warp name in the official naming.
With this system we can communicate better between us all. We can imagine what an Arborescence Twilight Starmap would look like, even though it doesn’t exist (pretty beautiful I think!!) and we can group wraps together by weft, warp, design or weave structure. We can even create databases with reliably searchable fields, and what greater pleasure in life is there than that??!