Thursday, April 13, 2017

More Collapse-Cloth Samples on 4 Shafts

LOTS more! I have been preparing more than a dozen samples for a workshop I'm teaching this summer at the MAFA Conference at Millersville University in Pennsylvania: "Collapse Fabrics on 4 Shafts." And, without giving away the drafts and all the details, I'd like to share some photos and descriptions of the results.

Pictured above: a 2-block weave on a warp of 60/2 silk, using a weft of 60/2 silk alternating with 18/2 JaggerSpun Superfine Merino. Here's what the sample looked like before washing, just off the loom:

Pretty different, right? That's the beauty of weaving dimensional fabric: What is geometric and two-dimensional on the loom becomes a fabric that is far more organic and three-dimensional after finishing. All it takes is a little bit of warm water, soap, and agitation. In the case of this sample, the wool will full and shrink, drawing the silk in width-wise. The geometric squares of orange, red, and dark blue in the warp become concave ovals. Very interesting and very forgiving for weavers like me who aren't always exact about selvages, picks per inch, even treadlings (but don't tell anyone).

A few more before and after photos below.

18/2 JaggerSpun Superfine Merino warp and weft. Above is the front of the piece before washing, and below is the back.

 And here's what the sample looks like after washing, front and back.

 Fun, I think! Much more quirky and natural-looking.

Above, a pretty ho-hum piece of fabric woven in plain weave -- red, gold, and lavender 16/2 bamboo in warp and weft -- with a supplemental-weft pattern using embroidery cotton in natural. I pulled the embroidery cotton tight to create a woven-shibori resist. (Looks like some kind of sea creature to me.)

Wash and scrub and agitate, check to make sure everything is working, repeat -- then take out all the embroidery cotton and...

Here's a close-up:

So for me, the weaving advice of "sample, sample, sample" has helped immensely -- to learn and to share with others who love this technique. After MAFA, I will be teaching how to weave dimensional fabrics on 4 and 8 harnesses at the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center in Hartford, CT. And in September I will lecture on the subject at the New York Guild of Handweavers. More sampling to come!

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Notes from CNCH, the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

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