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George Weil Blog & FAQs

Welcome to the George Weil Blog FAQs which includes information about the art and craft products sold on this website. There are project ideas, photographs of items created by our customers, product reviews, and step-by-step instructions.  

If there is anything you would like to see included here or if you would like to contribute an item, please email graphics@georgeweil.com


  • Many types of spinning wheels have developed over the centuries which can produce a yarn efficiently from local fibres. Historically a great many configurations of spinning wheel and flyer have been developed, and some of these are still available from craftsmen wheel makers. The common layouts are shown below along with comments on their strengths

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  • The transformation of fibre into a yarn is a very satisfying process. Once the techniques have been mastered, it is very gratifying to watch a yarn form on the hand spindle or spinning wheel bobbin. There is an abundance of information available for beginners. The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers is an excellent place to start.

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  • There are a number of techniques that can be used for creating braids. The simplest equipment is the tablet weaving card. Tablet Weaving Tablet weaving (or card weaving) is a method of producing braids, straps, belts, edgings and hair bands and a large range of yarns work effectively with this method. It is necessary to use a strong yarn for the wa

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  • Polymer clay is a highly versatile, non-toxic, modelling material that can be hardened by baking in the home oven. Once baked it is permanent and can be cut, sawn, glued, painted and more. It is sold in a wide range of colours which can be mixed together to make further colours. Most brands also produce a “transparent” or translucent clay which

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  • with Sue Heaser Turning a loop neatly in the end of a piece of wire has many uses in jewellery-making. Here is what you will need: wire - the easiest thickness for beginners to use is between 22 gauge (0.7mm thick) and 18 gauge (1.2mm thick), round nose pliers, wire cutters. Turning a Loop - Step 1 Hold one end of the wire in your non-working hand

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  • with Sue Heaser Decorating a polymer clay bicone shaped bead with self-made canes, adds to the diversity of bead making techniques. Cane slices give bicone beads a wonderful central swirl to the bead. You will need the following tools and materials; a spiral cane (see here for how to make a spiral cane), polymer clay - in a contrasting or matching

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  • with Sue Heaser Bead making is such as satisfying pastime. Working with different combinations of polymer clay and various techniques, you can create your own unique beads. Bicone beads are almost magical to make and only need a little practice to get them perfect. You will need the following tools and materials; polymer clay in the colour of your

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  • Bead makers will delight in the versatility of polymer clays and the speed at which the beads can be crafted. This simple necklace (right) was crafted in less than an hour. A black polymer clay was loosely mixed with a pearlised polymer clay and then rolled into a log. The cane was divided into 9 and these were then hand rolled into the long beads

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  • Susan Bush very kindly brought in these necklaces and butterfly to show us. The bottom necklace has been made using wooden beads and washers covered with fabric scraps. Susan also made this charming bag for her daughter. The remnants of fabric have been 'knitted' together using an embellisher machine. The needle felting attachment can be used in a

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  • The autodenter is most helpful for sleying the reed when threading the warp onto the weaving loom ‘back-to-front’. You can work left-to-right or right-to-left across the reed, whichever your handedness prefers. The autodenter Looking at the autodenter you will see that it is made of two distinct parts, a wooden handle with two short metal ‘fi

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  • The magical medium of Art Clay Silver clay consists of finely ground pure silver mixed with non-toxic binders and water. Presented as an off-white putty, this malleable clay can be easily worked into unique and personalised jewellery or ornaments. Items can be made as thin as 1mm thick. Once fired, the binders (which are made from harmless pulp fib

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  • Complex weaver, Ans Drost, emailed these photographs of the weavings she has achieved on her Louët Megado loom. Ans says of the image below 'the same pattern in a different colour. It is still done in tied weave, Summer and Winter. The yarn is 5/2 cotton. I do like this colour better.'

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  • Here we have discovered a fun and simple way to bind the heat bondable Angelina fibres into a three-dimensional shape. The fibres need only a very small amount of indirect heat to make them fuse, in this instance, boiling water is involved so please take care! Please note, this project is not suitable for children as it involves the use of boiling

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  • Learn How to Knit - Casting On There are a number of ways to cast on. This method creates a chain of knit stitches on the needle. Once you have mastered this method of casting on, you are not far off learning the knit stitch (also known as the garter stitch). With this basic stitch you will be able to knit a scarf, fabric blocks, cushion covers, a

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  • Our resident weaver, Susan Litton, is often heard expounding the virtues of the basic rigid heddle (also known as tabby loom). 'It's a very good experimental loom for creating woven cloth for tea towels, soft furnishings and clothing!' In 2002 one of our regular customers, Alison Butcher (pictured below) arrived wearing her rigid heddle woven skirt

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  • Ali Lester left us these samples of her handmade cards to include on the website. The designs have been created from many layers. Handmade Mulberry paper and Natural Tissue paper, silk paper that Ali has handmade herself, wire yarns, beads and findings

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  • If you've never knitted before DO NOT be alarmed! All these scarves were knitted with the basic knit stitch using 100g hanks of yarn and the people that knitted are novices to the craft. Why not join in by learning to cast-on your first stitch. Once you become more confident you can begin experimenting with stitches and yarns. This super soft Mohai

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  • Acid dyes provide a simple dye system for use with wool, animal fibres and nylon. They give a brighter colour on silk than Procion MX Fibre Reactive Dyes. They can be used to dye fur, feathers, soya bean fibre, angora, cashmere but are not effective on synthetics, other than nylon. There are a range of names, both historic and current for these dye

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  • The dye recipes included in this post are for dyeing protein fibres such as silk and wool using Acid dyes (a synthetic dye which is set with vinegar or citric acid). We hope you will find the acid dye instructions helpful. The following dye recipes are for dyeing wool, silk, fur, feathers, soya bean fibre, angora, cashmere with Acid Dyes. Althou

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  • We wanted to let you know that work has commenced on our new website. We have a vast amount of data to move around and get right so you won't see any changes until later in the year. Two of the areas we want to improve are the Blog and the Fact File pages. We want you to be able to find what you're looking for quickly and easily. Subscribers may re

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