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~ ManyTracks Art Gallery ~
by Sue Robishaw
Finger weaving (fingerweaving or finger-weaving) is an old traditional off-loom weaving of French Canadian, Native American, and Scandinavian heritage. One of the "forgotten arts", it is often known in the Midwest as the source of the colorful sashes worn by the voyageurs of the fur trade era. Because of that history, fingerwoven sashes are also known as ceinture flechee or arrow sash, or L'Assomption sash because of the great number of sashes made in that area of Canada for the fur trade companies. In the Scandinavian tradition it is often referred to as braiding.
Though naturally appropriate for Native American ceremonies, dance, and events; and fur trade era reenactments and rendezvous', many of the items are equally at home for current day wear. Sashes can be worn with dresses or coats, straps are equally at ease holding powder horns or guitars, and garters double as hat bands or straps for varied uses. Fingerweaving is also an old Scandinavian tradition so is appropriate for many of the traditional costumes of those countries. Some form of off-loom or hand/finger weaving is native to many cultures and the Chevron "V" design is quite universal.
I have some fingerwoven items in stock that can be shipped immediately. See the listing for what is available and the prices (Items Available for Purchase). Garters can be made to go with the sashes in inventory. Please see the How to Order page for ordering and shipping information. Please note that the color reproduction of an item on the computer screen may not necessarily be true to the colors of the items. If you wish to see the colors before purchase, I can send you yarn samples. All orders are 100% guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with any item when you receive it, you may return it for a full refund.
I'm not doing custom orders at this time. I love fingerweaving but it is a time consuming craft and I'm not able to fit it into my life right now. I encourage you to try your hand at making your own, or ask around your area to see if anyone knows the craft. You might check a weaving club or guild, or an art center or college.
An interesting book on the finger woven sashes of the fur trade era is
"Assomption Sash" by Marcius Barbeau, National Museum of
Canada. Unfortunately it is out of print, but you may find it in a
library or historical museum, or in a bookstore dealing in used and
Fingerweaving is a wonderful and fascinating art, and one that is worth keeping alive.
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Copyright 2010 by Sue Robishaw