Workshop with Bonnie Inouye, "Opposites Attract"
Pictured above is my sample from last week's workshop, "Opposites Attract," with the wonderful teacher Bonnie Inouye. We spent the past three days immersed in the myriad possibilities for designing a variety of weave structures beginning with a profile draft and then expanding it with what is termed a "parallel threading."
Fundamentally, parallel threading means that you are working with two colors in the warp, with both colors weaving together in parallel designs. (Interleaved threading is another topic, one that we didn't really delve into in this workshop.)
So on 8 shafts, for example, a straight draw in a parallel threading would be: color A on shaft 1, color B on shaft 5, color A on shaft 2, color B on shaft 6, color A on shaft 7, color B on shaft 8. Your tieup and treadling will vary all over the place depending on what structure you choose to weave -- which was, after all, the entire scope of this workshop.
If, for instance, you want to weave an 8-shaft twill in an extended parallel threading, you could use a 4/4 tieup and treadle for a straight twill, which would appear like this in the drawdown:
This is a very simple example of how to design a fabric using parallel threading. My own sample was woven on 12 shafts using two colors (red and purple) of 18/2 JaggerSpun Superfine Merino. The samples below were all woven on a parallel threading.
The second sample was a Turned Taquete pattern, a one-shuttle weave using a 20/2 cotton weft in navy. The treadling was an advancing point twill (alternating with tabby, of course, as this is Turned Taquete) and the tie-up was 6/6.
This third sample was what Bonnie calls "Decorated Turned Taquete" because it has a little flourish of color around the edges of the purple design. I wove it with a 20/2 cotton weft in sage green and the lift plan was an S-shaped treadling using a 5/7 tieup -- again, alternating with tabby picks. The reason the pattern gets longer in the top portion of the sample is that I doubled each pattern pick, to draw out the "O" shapes.
We covered a LOT of ground in this workshop, so my samples get smaller as the time went by! The weave above is Echo, with a 20/2 cotton weft, first in sage green and then in navy. My liftplan is a 12-shaft advancing point twill with a tie-up of 2/1/2/3/1/3, which includes a 3-shaft twill.
What's this? Hard to spot, I know, but it's a 4-color double weave pattern. The wefts were 18/2 JaggerSpun Superfine Merino, alternating between gold and black. Not enough of a sample to give you much of an idea, I know, but the pattern is so unusual! The treadling was designed with a gentle curve. If I had used a non-shrinking warp for one of my pattern warps and non-shrinking wefts for both layers, this fabric would have allowed for differential shrinkage. The wool warp would full in the wash and the non-shrinking warp and wefts would have "puckered."
So much to think about! I have re-typed my notes and plan on putting them into a proper notebook, because the only way I can explore and learn more about these techniques is "practice, practice, practice."
The beauty of Bonnie's work reflects just how much artistry parallel threading can produce. Here is just one of her many beautiful samples -- this one a decorated Turned Taquete on 24 shafts.
Thank you, Bonnie! This workshop has given us material for years to come.