Monday, March 13, 2017

Collapse Weave on 4 Shafts: a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Workshops

There are SO MANY ways to produce collapse-weave fabrics! And it's relatively easy to weave complex-looking fabric on just 4 shafts. Which is the subject of a workshop I will be teaching this summer at the MAFA (Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association) conference at Millersville University in Pennsylvania.

The sample pictured above, for example, looked like this before washing and fulling.

The warp is 20/2 pearl cotton and the weft is 18/2 merino. You'll see that the weft floats in alternating blocks on the top of the fabric, but not on the back. After washing and agitating in hot, soapy water, the weft floats will full and shrink, pulling in the cotton warps in a checkerboard pattern. The image at the top of the page shows what was the back of the fabric on the loom -- which is the far more interesting surface due to the checkerboard pattern.

Here is the draft.

I did 3 other samples on this 20/2 cotton warp. Here are the images of the samples after washing.

20/2 pearl cotton alternating with 18/2 merino weft stripes in plain weave

18/2 merino weft floats alternating with 20/2 pearl cotton weft in plain weave 

Same as above sample, but with merino weft floats on one side only

I particularly love the texture of the middle sample, as it looks the same on both sides and it shrank up the most (width-wise) of all the samples -- making it spongy and lofty. I think it would work well as a lightweight jacket or coat fabric. With lots of color in the warp and weft, of course!

Here are some more photos of samples I've woven up and washed in preparation for this workshop.

Deflected Double Weave

Double Weave (two layers woven simultaneously)

Differential shrinkage using merino and superwash wool

Collapse weave using a wool/latex weft (warp is on the horizontal)

 Fulling with woven-shibori technique

 Weft floats fulled and cut to create an eyelash effect

So many techniques, so much to learn. I will be teaching another collapse-weave workshop -- this time on both 4 and 8 shafts -- at the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center at the end of the summer. In September, I'll give a Power Point presentation on the subject of collapse weave to the New York Guild of Handweavers -- hopefully with lots of new photos to show from the summer workshops!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

More from the Warp That Keeps on Giving: Turned Taquete

At this point, the problem is making a decision -- ANY decision, for crying out loud! I have been able to weave so many patterns on this warp -- an extended parallel threading -- that it's hard to choose which one I like the best.

So far, I have woven maybe maybe 10 different patterns, using two different tie-ups and lots of different treadlings. I've finally decided on the two in the photo above. (Not one, but two -- but that's OK, because I like the way they work together.)

Both patterns are treadled as Turned Taquete, which I've blogged about extensively because it's such a beautiful structure. The diamond-shaped pattern is created with a simple advancing point twill treadling. Here's how it looks close up:

And here's the drawdown:
For the other pattern, I created a networked treadling based on an initial of 2. Here's the drawdown for that.

So now I have about 8 yards left to weave, which is hopefully enough to make a garment. Lots of keeping track of complicated treadlings -- once again, an argument for purchasing a computerized loom....

And here's one more image, this one of Echo Weave woven on the same warp using a point-twill treadling. My thinking is that this pattern looks good close up, but from a distance of a yard away or more -- which is the kind of distance I like for viewing a garment -- it doesn't show up as well.

Thanks for reading! More to come as I begin creating collapse-weave samples on my table loom, in preparation for workshops I'm teaching in the summer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Warp that Keeps on Giving: Echo Weave, Turned Taquete, Double Weave, Shadow Weave, and Warp Rep All on One Threading

How do you weave a countless number of structures on one warp? With an extended parallel threading, of course! This particular technique offers a lot of "bang for the buck" for weavers. All you have to do is modify your treadling and, in some cases, change the tie-up. If you're REALLY ambitious, you can change the tie-up and re-sley as well to achieve Double Weave or Shadow Weave.

What is an extended parallel threading? For those who follow the work of Marian Stubenitsky and/or Bonnie Inouye, it needs no introduction. For the rest of us, all it means is that, for starters, you use two colors in your warp, so that you can thread them A-B-A-B, etc. (A being your first color and B being your second). Then, instead of threading a straight draw of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (just as an example), you thread your two colors using the same line, but separately, at a set interval. 

For example, if you decide you're going to thread at an interval of 4, for an extended parallel threading on a straight draw, you will thread it this way: 1, 5, 2, 6, 3, 7, 4, 8, 5, 1, 6, 2, 7, 3, 8, 4, alternating between color A and color B. Here's a drawdown, by way of example. (I've posted it before, but it bears repeating.)

So your tie-up allows you to lift every other thread in an ascending twill order. This is the basic idea behind the structures I have been weaving. Because I like to paint warps -- and because I like to paint two separate warps in complementary but different palettes and beam them together and then thread them A-B-A-B in an extended parallel threading -- I decided to create an advancing point-twill using this technique. 

Here are some drafts and photos of what I've weaving. 

Variation #1: Echo Weave 

Here is the the drawdown, with a tie-up and treadling for Echo Weave. Note that this is simply an advancing twill treadling.
And here is a photo of the sample I wove. You'll see that I didn't weave the entire treadling, because I was just trying to get an idea of how it would look.

Variation #2: Echo Weave 

Next treadling for Echo Weave, same tie-up. This treadling is an for an advancing point twill.

My woven sample, below. I love the way the pattern seems to sparkle, which enhances the color shifts.

Next, I crawled under the treadles to do another tie-up. (Truth be told, I usually make an error when I'm tying up and have to start all over again. Which causes a lot of sweating and cursing, which is not to be written about in a blog post.) 

Variation #3: Double Weave 

Here is the drawdown for treadling as Double Weave. I will not show you my sample, as I really messed up! I had to re-sley the reed to make the warp ends much denser for Double Weave -- and somewhere along the way my shed got really boggled up. I do have a sample, but again, not for public consumption ;o)

Yes, this would work well with a collapse-weave technique, with one layer shrinking and pulling in while the other layer would "pouf" and add texture. Even with the poor shed I had -- owing mostly to the fact that I was using two different attachments to tie up my treadles, and their lengths varied -- I could tell from my sample that this structure has promise.

Variations #4 and #5: Turned Taquete 

Then I got down under the loom and re-did my tie-up to weave Turned Taquete -- one of my favorite structures because it is so versatile. Here's the first treadling I used. If you look at the treadling, you'll see that, if you remove the tabby, it's the same advancing-twill sequence as in variation #1 above.

And here is the second treadling, an advancing point-twill. Again, if you take away the tabby, it's exactly like variation #2 for Echo Weave.

Here is how the two samples wove up. (The first treadling appears at the bottom of the photo and the second is at the top.)

Variation #6: Turned Taquete

Here's yet another treadling, the results of which I love!

The sample:

Variation #7: Rep

There are a countless number of variations for an extended parallel threading like this. One additional structure I did not mention was Shadow Weave. Here's a drawdown I came up with.

However, this post is getting way too long and it's taking way too much time! Suffice it to say that I'm hoping to create a workshop out of this. And as for all the samples I have been weaving: I beamed a 12-yard warp, 46" wide, using 20/2 silk sett at 40 ends per inch. The weft is, for the most part, 60/2 silk.  

I'm weaving yardage for a garment. Most likely, I will use four or five different treadlings for Turned Taquete -- I might even add a networked treadling in there somewhere -- and alternate them randomly throughout the fabric. I can't choose just one, so I have to weave them all.

And here's the photo that inspired this project to begin with. I can't attribute it to any source, because I found it on the internet long ago. The combination of pinks and greens is irresistible!