Thursday, May 28, 2015

Collapse Cloth in 60/2 silk warp and overtwist weft

Many years ago, there was a wonderful magazine called Weaver's -- and in it, an article by Ann Richards on using crepon yarns for collapse fabrics. I have had it in my files for more than 15 years and FINALLY I wove up some samples. The impetus was the annual sample exchange for the Collapse Weave Study Group in Complex Weavers.

The warp is 60/2 spun silk in black and natural, threaded alternately in a straight draw. The photo at top shows the fabric after washing, with a number of different wefts. A closer look, below.

Here's the fabric on the loom, showing horizontal stripes woven alternately in 60/2 spun silk in natural and 30/1 wool in a Z twist.

And then off the loom, before washing.

Here's what the same fabric looks like, close up, after washing in lukewarm water with a bit of Orvus paste.

And here are two other samples. Below, I have alternated weft stripes of black gossamer-weight silk crepe from Habu with 60/2 spun silk in black. The crepe draws in more than any other energized yarn I have used, so this is a very elastic fabric when you stretch it horizontally.

Finally, a softer collapse fabric, as the weft is just one yarn: 30/1 wool in S overtwist (natural color).

Threading 1,456 ends on the loom at a sett of 32 epi amounted to some 45 1/2 inches in width, which collapsed to roughly 30 inches in width after washing. The length didn't change much, from around 45 inches long to 41 inches after washing. Lots of weaving for a shrinkage of 33%, but it was so worth it!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Painting Two Warps for Turned Overshot: Cat's Paws and Snail's Trails

We all love color, true? And weaving offers so many techniques -- polychrome, color and weave, supplemental warps and wefts, painted yarns, variegated yarns -- that allow us to play to our heart's content.

I have been experimenting for a number of years now, using two hand-painted warps in complementing color palettes in warp-dominant weaving structures, combing them into one warp to achieve maximum color play. At least that's one slightly complicated way to describe it. (A plug here: I hope to teach a course on this technique this July at the MAFA Conference at Millersville University: "Paint 2 Beam 1." We will find out on Monday, May 18, as to which courses will run.)

Among the structures that lend themselves to this technique: Turned Taquete, Echo Weave, double weave, twill blocks (I like to alternate stripes of 1/3 and 3/1 twill) and Turned Overshot -- which is the sample pictured above.

Cat's Paws and Snail's Trails is a classic 4-harness pattern. When you turn the draft, you're weaving on 6 harnesses because you have a tabby ground cloth. The advantage using my painted-warp technique is that your pattern warp is painted in one set of colors (in this case I used turquoise, purple, teal, and blue) while the ground warp is painted in another palette (coral, orange, gold, yellow, and red). It's a one-shuttle weave, and my weft yarn matched the gold in the warp.

Just coming out of a linen workshop with Kati Reeder Meek, I chose to work with linen. My ground warp is 50/2 half-bleached linen and the pattern warp is 14/1 in natural. Both yarns are wet spun. My weft, like the ground warp, was 50/2 linen.

Here are two more views. The sample is long and narrow, about 4 inches wide, because the sett was about 60 ends per inch. Not hard, really, and well worth the effort!

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