Designing Collapse Fabrics with Deflected Double Weave
The main reason I love to play with collapse techniques is the element of surprise they offer: What you cut off the loom is seldom the same fabric after washing! I wove the sample above on 8 shafts, using 4 colors of 10/2 pearl cotton. It's a simple design using 4 blocks -- but what makes the difference here is that I alternated Venne Colcolastic cotton with 10/2 cotton in the weft. (I purchased the Colcolastic from Giovanna Imperia at the 2018 Convergence conference in Reno. She offers a large range of exotic and energized yarns for creating fabrics with texture.)
Here's what the sample looked like before washing.
And here's a closer look, showing you (if you look very closely) the two separate strands of the Colcolastic, which is 93% pearl cotton and 7% Lycra.
As I wove the sample, I had a feeling I would like the results -- but not that I would like them this much! I decided to add plain weave at the end of the sample, because plain weave will ruffle nicely when it's adjacent to a collapse fabric.
It's just a sample, but you get the idea. I can see a lovely cotton scarf in this design, easy to care for and fun to wear.
Some background here: I'm weaving up a series of samples for a new workshop I'm putting together, "Designing with Deflected Double Weave." I will be teaching this December 13-15 at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center in East Rochester, NY, and then again in February at the Telerana Fiber Arts Guild in Mesa, AZ. The program chairs in Mesa asked me to leave wool out of the mix -- because clearly they have little use for wool in Arizona! At first, I was puzzled, because wool is so often a key fiber for people who like to design Deflected Double Weave.
But then I started sampling, determined not to use wool. And I came upon this idea, creating alternating layers and then leaving two layers separate from each other....
And then I wove this sample, alternating 6 picks of hand-dyed silk ribbon with 16 picks of 10/2 cotton. The cotton floats on the back of the piece draw in and make the silk wefts collapse vertically, which creates an appearance of horizontal ribs.
And then I wove this, a more traditional Deflected Double Weave sample, alternating gold gimp in the weft with 10/2 cotton.
And another surprise, on a second warp of different colors, created a "gang weave" of warp and weft floats on two of the blocks.
The workshop is designed to give participants a choice of drafts on 4, 8 and 12 shafts. The threading will remain the same as we explore what happens when we change the tieup, treadling, and weft yarns.
The challenge I've found in designing with Deflected Double Weave is that the drawdown is harder to read than with other structures, so that what you think you see in the drawdown is not always what you get in the weaving! Which makes it all the more interesting.
Here, for your consideration, is the threading I started with for all these samples, before I began to alter the tieups, treadlings, and weft yarns. This draft was the one I used for the sample pictured above featuring the silk-ribbon weft in an olive color. Let me know if you would like me to send it to you. And thanks for reading.