Thursday, June 11, 2015

Turned Monk's Belt: Another Structure for Combining Two Painted Warps

Weavers love painting warps: You can't buy the beauty of the ever-changing colors. For me, painting two warps brings even greater rewards: When you combine them into one warp and weave a warp-dominant structure, you get a fabric with two continually shifting color palettes.

I'm on a mission to discover the best structures for this technique. To my eye, Turned Taquete is the most magical, as is Echo Weave. Then there's the magic of twill stripes, woven in 3/1 and 1/3 structures.... And double weave. And deflected double weave. And turned overshot. Turned Honeycomb, not so much. The warp-wise tension makes for straight lines, not honeycomb waves.

But why not Turned Monk's Belt? Effectively, you're weaving a supplemental-warp structure, which would allow for all kinds of improvising, using different yarns, random-width blocks, you name it. But for this project, I wanted to stick with a simple, traditional 4-harness Monk's Belt pattern, just to see what happened.

I used a ground warp of 20/2 pearl cotton and a pattern warp of 10/2 unmercerized cotton. (Thank you, Leslie Mendelson, my friend!) I painted the ground warp in a series of peach/gold/soft orange colors, while the pattern warp was painted blue/aqua/purple/sky blue. The sett was 36 ends per inch for each layer, meaning 6 ends per dent in a 12-dent reed.

The weft was 20/2 pearl cotton dyed in soft orange. Since this was only a sample, as it was just 2 2/9" in the reed. I wish I had planned to finish both ends with a nice, neat hem stitch, because this Monk's Belt pattern would have made a nice... belt!

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Notes from CNCH, the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

  Let's start with the photo above: a series of samples woven on eight shafts in deflected doubleweave by Marta Shannon. It's just o...