Optical Weaving is a project that I created inspired by the Op art movement. I was inspired to create a woven fabric that could exemplify the beauty and awe of visual illusion using acrylic and polyester yarns woven on a hand tapestry loom.
For this project I wanted to create a weaving that mimicked the visual illusions that you might view in a print or on a digital screen. I wanted to create this effect using a variation of the basket weave structure as well as a specific rib weaving technique. I altered these techniques to make a visual grid that worked extremely well because of the nature of woven textiles. Most textiles are created using a grid like structures and this is true of visual illusions as well. As a result, accomplishing an effect visual illusion was very possible.
To begin creating this weaving, I started by creating a small sample weave on a tapestry loom that was about 12 inches lengthwise and widthwise. This gave me the ability to test different techniques and discover what it was that I really wanted to create and how to accomplish it.
The image above depicts the back of the weave. As you can see in this photo, as I wove I introduced as many as 7 weft insertions at one time. In order to create a weave that would facilitate the visual illusion, I had to loops the yarns in a way that connected them through each weft insertion. The reason for doing this was to create an unbroken woven surface that would allow the viewers eye to move with the visual vibrations.
In the photo above, you can see the completed weaving and the visual effect that was achieved.