Pick-up Belt Weaving
Teacher: Piia Rand
Piia Rand completed her master’s studies in Heritage Technology at UT Viljandi Culture Academy in 2020. In her master's thesis, she researched Estonian pick-up belts, focusing on Saaremaa belts. Piia has worked with pick-up belts for a very long time; in addition to research, she weaves them and shares her skills with others through teaching classes. From studying belts in museum collections, she has created her own collection of old belts. Piia is the author of the book “Estonian Pick-up Woven Belts” which contains the basics of belt weaving and patterns from each parish in Estonia. She teaches belt weaving and ribbon plaiting at the Estonian National Museum's Folk costume School and various other workshops. In everyday life, she works as a craft teacher at Tartu Tamme School.
The belt has always been a very important detail in folk costumes. Women’s pick-up woven belts, the geometric weave pattern of which is created by picking up pattern yarns by rows, has been particularly beloved in Estonian native textile art. These rich geometrical patterns have been adapted for use on carpets, gloves, and even carved on beer mugs.
In this workshop, a simpler pick-up woven belt pattern is selected, a belt is set up, and the main techniques of pick-up belt weaving are learned. This year, it it possible to weave the belt in two different ways:
1) a short belt or a sample made on belt looms or
2) a more traditional set-up where the loom is a closed circle around the weaver - this belt can be easily transported and continued at home, therefore a long belt can be finished.
The details about the weaving method and preference of patterns (from which area or parish the pattern originates) will be confirmed before the camp via email. The participants who wish to make a full-size belt can choose their own preferred pattern. Participants who have prior experience in (belt) weaving can start the set-up of the looms from the beginning of the process.
The participation fee includes linen and woollen yarns (warp and weft) for one belt and the belt knife. The looms are for use during the course. Tools for personal use can be purchased for an additional fee at the course. This workshop is suitable for beginners and intermediates.