Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coat for My Daughter

This coat is handwoven, using JaggerSpun 18/2 Superfine Merino in 6-shaft waffle weave and plain weave. The fabric shows several variations on a theme -- that is, moving from waffle weave in 4 colors (orange, red, purple, and teal blue) to plain weave using a variety of colors in the weft. The warp uses the same four colors, moving from orange in the center to blue at the outside of the "waffle." The inside of the fabric reverses the color effect, so that the predominant color you see is orange (as in the accent fabric at the  end of the sleeves).

Notice how the waffle weave pulls the fabric in and the plain weave spreads it out, creating a ruffle effect at the bottom of the coat. I love this! The effect is magnified because I hand-washed the fabric to felt it a bit (the technical term is "fulling"). This gives the fabric greater warmth and heft -- and protects it from any pulling of some of the long floats that appear with waffle weave.

The pattern is my own, adapted from a sleeveless tunic pattern that I've used in the past: 1036 Mandarin Vest from Purrfection Artistic Wearables. Here's how it looks in back:

And here are some details (below). The cuffs on the sleeves show the reverse side of the main fabric -- which means that the inside of the coat is a bright golden orange!

I made the buttons using the same yarns that are in the fabric. The technique is based on the "Dorset Buttons" that were originally made in the mid-19th century in Dorset, England. (For more on Dorset Buttons, see my previous post.)

I'm entering this coat in the Weavers' Guild of Rochester exhibit, "For the Love of Fiber." (And for more on this, see my post of late March.)

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