Ergonomics is fascinating. Understanding how to apply the science of the human body to the equipment we use takes a level of knowledge that is beyond me. As I get older, however, the one thing I do understand is that the aches and pains from spinning, weaving, and knitting in the wrong position get harder to ignore. My guild recently had a physical therapist come to a meeting to talk about the importance of taking breaks from fiber tasks to stretch muscles and loosen up.
Over a year ago, I made a sizeable investment by purchasing a custom-made weaving bench designed by Walt Turpening. Walt has you measure your body in certain ways such as the length of your calves, the stretch of your arms, and the depth of the treadles on your loom. Then you pick a color scheme and he weaves the seat to create a beautiful and ergonomic bench that works with your body.
The seat is woven in such a way that weaving doesn’t take a toll on your lower back and it looks pretty too. I wanted a design reflecting the ocean with blue for the waves and tan for the sand. You get the picture right?
I certainly have to take breaks from weaving once in a while, but this bench has been good for my body and keeps me weaving. Unfortunately, what works for your loom doesn’t work for your spinning wheel. I would have to order a bench with different measurements for that. Time to save up.
By the way, if you’re interested in a Walt Turpening bench, prepare to be patient. Last I heard, it’s a 24 month wait.