The looms are situated on the third floor of the residency with work tables and storage spaces. The view is a gorgeous, sweeping outlook of where the Blanda River merges with the ocean.
There are four different-size looms: 80, 120, 130 and 140cm. They are 4, 6 or 8 shaft countermarch looms. Residents have full access to looms and weaving equipment; large selection of reeds, warping reel, distaff holders, shuttles, yarn reels etc. Please bring basics (measuring tape etc.) and your desired threads. There is only a very small selection of wool, cotton, and linen available to buy in the Textilsetur offices.
The looms are quite old and historic, please treat them with gentle care, they may be different to what you have worked with before and we ask that artists have experience with looms before using them. The studio holds around 8 looms for general use. Textilsetur does not offer weaving classes.
The loom studio has one vertical tapestry loom for artists to use. The weaving width is 35 inches and the loom has two heddle bars, a reed and two treadles. It is the Scandinavian type of tapestry loom.
The dye studio across the street can be used for felting with a sink and is better for messy/wet processes or loud processes that may disturb others with sound. The main studio is situated on the second floor of the building in a large sunny room with a view of the sea. Artists have access to a communal 7m long table and several small working tables. Basic wet felting equipment (bubble wrap, mats) is available and left by other artists, and there is a large multi-functional sink. We do not have any needle felting equipment, please bring this with you.
We have a separate small studio across the street to be used for dyeing. The residency does not provide any dyes (pigments, medium, starch, etc.). However, Iceland produces many natural dye resources such as lichens of various colours, plants and flowers (but do not expect to see many/any flowers during the winter). The Dye Studio is a small space best suited for making natural dyes, doing small dye batches, and wet work like felting, wool washing, or incidental dyeing of yarn/fibres. It is not ventilated and does not have an industrial sink so it is not suitable for heavy chemicals or environmentally unsafe processes.
Dye Studio Equipment:
- Household Sink
- Work bench
- 4 x electric stove burners
- 1 x mini oven
- Metal pots – large, medium, and small
- Plastic buckets – large and small
- Glass Jars
- Stirring utensils
- Drying racks (laundry fold out style)
Please note: Sometimes other artists will leave behind mordant/alum or natural dye materials – however if you rely on this, ensure to bring your own. There are spinning wheels and yarn swifts in the weaving and general studios. Natural dye work is best done in Spring, Summer, or Autumn. Winter does not offer many plants for dyes. If artists need specifics not listed above it is best to email in advance, however Textilsetur does not provide art materials.
The main studio also has three sewing machines (model Husquarna / Viking) and flat iron / ironing board.
Embroidery, Knitting, and Crochet
Embroidery, hand-knitting and crocheting are a big part of Icelandic culture and tradition. At the Textile Center there are various handcraft and Icelandic patterns books (both traditional and modern) available for artists to use in the office and the Textile Museum next door.
There is a spinning wheel for residents to use.
Icelandic wool is famous around the world and is easy to find here. Handcrafting is a tradition in Iceland, so a wide variety of yarn (colors, wideness, thickness, etc.) can be found in every grocery store (one is at a 5 min walk from the school). Locally in Blönduós is the Ístex wool washing factory and artists are welcome to visit to see the washing process (normally closed during spring, summer and fall).