How long does it take to weave a scarf?

This is a question that I am often asked and one that I am sure other weavers are familiar with, whether it be a scarf, tea towel, shawl or piece of fabric. It is not an easy one to answer because there are many stages to weaving and it depends on so many things. The type of weave, the yarn thickness/sett, whether it was woven as a single scarf or whether several scarves were made from one warp, whether the warp was tied onto a previously threaded warp or whether the loom was rethreaded all impact on the timing.

So, in an attempt to try and be more helpful when people ask me this question I have this last week done a bit of a time in motion study on my most recent weave. It must be said that this weave was a relatively quick pattern to weave as it was a simple twill and rather unusually nothing much went wrong so no time was used sorting out issues! Rather than rethread the heddles I was able to knot the 10.5m warp of 2/17nm lambswool of 300 threads onto a previous warp. I suspect an additional 2 hours would have been taken had I needed to rethread the heddles. The final washed fabric measured 9.5m and took a total of 19.5 hours to get to a point where the fabric could be cut into scarves or fabric to make cushions or other items. (This 19.5 hours being made up of 2 hours to measure the warp chains, 5 hours to knot and wind the warp onto the back beam, 11.5 hours to weave and 1 hour to wash and finish the fabric). So, a scarf of a 1.8m length on this occasion has taken me 3.7 hours to make without a tea break. Next up is to do the same thing with a different weave, a window pane double weave takes longer but I wonder how much longer? These three scarves and cushions are already in my Etsy shop and I have a few metres of fabric left which as yet I am undecided on its final use.

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