Monday, March 13, 2017

Collapse Designs on 4 Shafts: a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Workshops

There are SO MANY ways to produce textured fabrics! And it's relatively easy to weave complex-looking fabric on just 4 shafts. Which is the subject of a workshop I will be teaching this summer at the MAFA (Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association) conference at Millersville University in Pennsylvania.

The sample pictured above, for example, looked like this before washing and fulling.

The warp is 20/2 pearl cotton and the weft is 18/2 merino. You'll see that the weft floats in alternating blocks on the top of the fabric, but not on the back. After washing and agitating in hot, soapy water, the weft floats will full and shrink, pulling in the cotton warps in a checkerboard pattern. The image at the top of the page shows what was the back of the fabric on the loom -- which is the far more interesting surface due to the checkerboard pattern.

Here is the draft.

I did 3 other samples on this 20/2 cotton warp. Here are the images of the samples after washing.

20/2 pearl cotton alternating with 18/2 merino weft stripes in plain weave

18/2 merino weft floats alternating with 20/2 pearl cotton weft in plain weave 

Same as above sample, but with merino weft floats on one side only

I particularly love the texture of the middle sample, as it looks the same on both sides and it shrank up the most (width-wise) of all the samples -- making it spongy and lofty. I think it would work well as a lightweight jacket or coat fabric. With lots of color in the warp and weft, of course.

Here are some more photos of samples I've woven up and washed in preparation for this workshop.

Deflected Double Weave

Double Weave (two layers woven simultaneously)

Differential shrinkage using merino and superwash wool

Collapse fabric using a wool/latex weft (warp is on the horizontal)

 Fulling with woven-shibori technique

 Weft floats fulled and cut to create an eyelash effect

So many techniques, so much to learn. I will be teaching another collapse-cloth workshop -- this time on both 4 and 8 shafts -- at the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center at the end of the summer. In September, I'll give a Power Point presentation on the subject to the New York Guild of Handweavers -- hopefully with lots of new photos to show from the summer workshops.

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