But what are you going to do with all those bands?

Do handmade textiles need to have a job?

Jeannine Glaves Aug 18, 2021 - 4 min read

But what are you going to do with all those bands? Primary Image

One of Jeannine's beloved bands on the inkle loom.

I have been a weaver for over 45 years. I have been a complex weaver and explored a number of different ethnic techniques. About 20 years into my weaving life, I saw a need that I felt bandweaving could address. I tried different types of bandweaving and found I liked weaving sayings using pick-up inkle weaving.

I have been a spinner for almost 50 years and rarely use commercial yarn in my weaving. I find my “happy place” when my hands are in my weaving and the warp and weft are my handspun.

But what do you do with all those bands?


A selection of Jeannine's bands from the last year.

I spin and weave for my soul and peace. Sayings come into my life, and my bands speak about gifts and where my life was while weaving. When you explore one area of weaving for any length of time, you can push the technical limits and the “what ifs.”? People often ask me what I do with them, but I can’t imagine that my bands need any other job. If they tell me they want to become part of a project, I get to enjoy working with them more.


Reading the words of wit and wisdom from a year's worth of bands, Jeannine sometimes shares her work as a performance.

Some years back, I was in a card weaving class that John Mullarkey was teaching, and he proudly claimed the title of bandweaver. I reflected on my chosen path, and at my next guild meeting I stood up and defiantly stated, “I am a bandweaver!”

There—my truth was out. These folks know I will continue with my great weaving love, and I think I need to add that statement to my next band.

A Lesson from an Expert

Aquilina Castro, an Andean backstrap weaver, taught me a trick that has changed my weaving practice. As Aquilina demonstrated how to weave on a backstrap loom, she broke a warp thread. Without missing a beat, she tugged on the ends, crossed and twisted them together, and laid them in the shed. She packed the ends in, changed the shed, and was off and weaving with an invisible and well-anchored repair. She used it to fix a break, but I use it to change warp colors on the spot and hide the ends while weaving.


Aquilina Castro taught me a trick for changing warp threads.

Jeannine Glaves lives in Oklahoma with a beloved collection of spindles and feels she can neither have too many tools nor too much fiber. She feels all her wheels need to be accessorized, and she is sticking to that story.


Brophy, Ann. "Letters from an Inkle Loom." Handwoven May/June 1999, pages 38–41.

Jeannine sewed 56 yards of her handspun, handwoven bands into a vest. Read more about Jeannine's Vest of Voices.