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Cloqué for Differential Shrinkage: Thanks to the French!

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Years ago -- in the summer 1999 issue of  Weaver's magazine -- Holly Brackmann wrote an article on "Cloqué and Deflected Double Weave." I wove the sample above on 8 shafts based on this article, using a deflected-double-weave pattern with alternating blocks of 30/2 silk (pictured above in white) and 20/2 cotton (seen above in navy).  The sample on the left and bottom parts of the photo is before finishing; the sample on the upper right is after finishing using the lye-shrinkage process known as cloqué. The other samples were equally beautiful and intriguing and I've been interested in weaving a cloqué project ever since. As Brackmann writes, "This is a dangerous process and should be used with extreme caution. Fabrics are immersed in a 20-33% lye-to-water solution. Lye is extremely caustic and great care must be taken to protect eyes, hair, skin, and nails. Wear goggles, an apron, respirator, and gloves." I followed her directions to the "T" and w

Sampling with 'Energized' Yarns, Thanks to Handwoven Magazine and Lunatic Fringe!

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It all started with an email from Christina Garton at Handwoven magazine: Lunatic Fringe has a new line of "energized" yarns, called Gevolve, that she would like to feature in a story. (Energized is a broad term referring to yarns that are single-ply, elasticized, overtwisted, or otherwise likely to change shape after washing.)  I love working with yarns like this because they cause two-dimensional handwoven cloth to pucker, pleat, or pouf in all sorts of organic, unpredictable ways. Would I be willing to do some samples and write up an article for the Yarn Lab section of the magazine? (The yarns would be free, of course.) Would I be willing? Now what would any self-respecting, full-blooded, stash-loving weaver do? Also, I'd like to give a shout out to Michele Belson of Lunatic Fringe, who was kind enough to send me more yarn -- MORE YARN -- when I called and said I needed it. Photo at top: The Gevolve yarns, beginning from the left, are silk elastic in natural and black

Shaft Envy, Begone!

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  You don't need 32 shafts to weave beautiful fabric! I'm on a mission to prove this as I work on designs for a new workshop, "Echo on the Double: 4-Color Double Weave for 4 to 32 shafts." The workshop will include 5 to 6 variations in tieups and treadlings for each pattern, all in double weave, for any kind of treadle loom from 4 to 32 shafts.  Pictured above, in the first 2 photos: Blooming Leaf design, Echo threading on 4 shafts in 4-color double weave, front and back. Second 2 photos: Falling Stars design, Echo threading on 8 shafts in 4-color double weave, front and back. The warp colors for all 4 designs are lime green and azalea. Double weave on Echo threadings is endlessly fascinating because of the variety of patterns and color combinations that you can achieve. When you start with 2 colors in the warp (for a 2-end parallel threading) and then add 2 colors in the weft (one for the bottom layer and one for the top layer), you're working with 4 colors in al

Work in Progress: A Future Class on Double Weave for Echo Threadings

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  Above is a detail of a 32-shaft design I'm working on called "Dreaming in Color." It has a 4-color Echo threading and uses 2 additional colors in the weft. I guess that makes it 6-color double weave. Anyhow, that's the beauty of designing for double weave on Echo threadings: With the right tieup, you can create a magical array of shifting colors. And, if you want to take your creation a step further, you can add a weft with a crepe or shrinking yarn to achieve a dimensional weave. In order to achieve texture with these designs, you have to look for "pockets" in the structure. (With some tieups and treadlings, you'll get integrated double weave rather than pockets, meaning that the two layers are interlaced.) To see these pockets and/or interlacements, you have to look at the "structure view" in Fiberworks. Here's what the first design looks like in that simulation. This is kind of a dizzying array of black and white graphics -- but if you

24-Shaft Four-Color Double Weave Sample Extravaganza Scarf

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8 different samples do not a scarf make. Another name for this could be "The Greedy Weaver Scarf." I've tried so many tieup/treadling/weft yarn variations on this 24-shaft threading that I really couldn't settle on just one sample for a scarf. So I wove a scarf using eight of my favorites -- and even that wasn't enough! But I will wear it with pride. Also, I will use it as a resource and a teaching tool. I'm getting more and more immersed in the mysteries of four-color double weave: How the colors shift with the patterns, how the colors change depending on what color they're next to (part of the over-arching theory of simultaneous contrast), how the textures change with active yarns in the weft, how the two sides can be quite different, how much latitude this gives for designing. I could go on! And I will in this blog post ;o) Let's start with the vital statistics: This is a 24-shaft pattern in a two-color extended parallel threading at an interval of