Monday, December 14, 2015

Deflected Double Weave as a Collapse Weave Structure

In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, "It ain't over till it's over." This phrase is true not just for baseball, but also for collapse-weave fabrics! You plan and warp and weave and cut off -- but the fabric isn't finished until it's finished, because it looks entirely different after washing.

Here's an example. Below, the fabric on the loom.


And after washing -- after "fulling" by agitating and scrubbing by hand with soap in hot water, to be exact.


Now THIS is cloth with character! Lots of wriggling shapes, thanks to "differential shrinkage," in which one fiber (wool) shrinks while the other (cotton) doesn't. And lots of strong color, thanks to deflected double weave.

I wove this fabric on my trusty little 4-harness Structo loom, pictured here.


I have always wanted one and finally purchased one this year. I took it on a trip to Chicago -- and simply packed it in my suitcase! Portable weaving studio!

For those who are interested, the pattern is an adaptation of one designed by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt, featured in the January/February 2007 issue of Handwoven magazine. I altered the threading slightly and substituted 18/2 Superfine Merino by JaggerSpun for the white sections and 20/2 pearl cotton for the black.

Here's the drawdown:

All of this was in preparation for a workshop I recently taught at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center. The idea was to use an 8-harness pattern, threaded with 18/2 merino and 20/2 pearl cotton, and create a sampler using lots of different treadlings. The sett is very important for collapse-weave fabrics. For differential shrinkage, you want a loose sett for the yarn that will shrink and a normal (plain weave) sett for the yarn that will not shrink. So I set the merino at 18 epi and the cotton at 36 epi. Same for the picks per inch: I wove the wool at 18 ppi and the cotton at 36 ppi.

This is what the main pattern looked like, before washing.


And here's what it looked like after.


Lots of interest and bold graphic designs. I apologize for the lack of color in these samples -- this blog is named "Random Acts of Color," after all -- but I wanted to create samples that very clearly illustrated what was going on. Deflected double weave is an easy structure to understand, once you get the basics down.

Again,  for those who are interested, here (below) is the draft for the threading and tieup.



The sample above was woven tromp as writ -- but if you're interested in the different treadlings I gave people in the workshop, here they are. (The blue horizontal lines are there simply to visually separate the different treadlings.)

Weave it up, try lots of different treadlings, and remember, it ain't finished until it's finished!


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