Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Double Weave Blocks

I thought the schact 8-shaft loom in our local textile center needed a workout so I scheduled some time and decided to do a doubleweave piece. I had no real use in mind but did want to take advantage of the full 45" width since my 8-shaft is only 36".  I wound my warp of 5/2 cotton alternating stripes of red/magenta with yellow.  My warping trapeze (a wonderful gift from a dear friend) made beaming alone easy and fast.

I like designs that have enough uniformity to seem planned but not so much that I had to stress about following a treadling plan.

I settled on some double weave blocks that I could size on the fly using numbers from the Fibonacci series.  This allowed me to decide sizing at the loom without worry that it was going to get too chaotic. My plan was that one side of the piece would be predominately turquoise with blocks of color -- yellow, red, magenta and mixes of those colors. The reverse side would be the stripes with blocks of turquoise.

During the weaving process, since I was in the textile center, folks would come by and get drawn in by the bright colors.  The stripes were face up on the loom so it was easy to someone to see the reverse was solid blue and clearly different.  Some times I would be at a good spot to let someone stick a finger between the two layers.  Nearly everyone who stopped asked what was it I was making.  Since I had not decided that I asked each one what they thought it should be.  Most frequent answers were table square or baby blanket.  One fellow artist was emphatic that it should be hung and displayed.

Off the loom, when I was able to get a decent look at the turquoise side, it said wall hanging to me too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Weaving with Non-Traditional Materials

What a pleasure to take Giovanna Imperia's workshop on weaving with industrial materials! Giovanna brings a boatload of interesting materials to try as wefts, and supplemental warps.  These are materials that your local shops are not going to stock.  Materials included plastics, reflective fiber, glow-in-the-dark fiber, polyurethane, wire core, and polyesters.

Here are some of the samples I wove.  The warp was 10/2 cotton in 3 large stripes of black, black/gray alternating, gray. The photos were taken after the samples had been washed in machine with hot water.



In addition to explaining the properties of each material, Giovanna provided excellent guidance on how to sett, beat and finish. She also showed tricks on taming some of the more unruly fibers when measuring and weaving. Giovanna experiments with any interesting materials she can acquire from her various sources.  Many of these interesting fibers are only available in small quantities from Giovanna via her website at http://giovannaimperia.com/

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Pseudo Random

An article from the 1980s inspired me to introduce more randomness to the pattern of this summer&winter piece. This block design was done on the loom choosing whichever block stuck me at the moment.  The dots and dashes were alternated to create a notion of the dashes falling apart, or the dots piling up.

I used a Drop Spindle space dyed bamboo warp and 8/2 cotton pattern weft with 10/2 merc cotton tabby weft. What started out as two scarves will end up as a long vest when the rectangle panels are joined.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Chenille Crimp in Red

My adventures with loom woven crimp cloth designs (woven shibori) continues with another experiment using a rayon chenille warp with widely spaced, thin stripes of a varigated chenille.  The main cloth is plain weave, the pattern threads are woven in point twill. The weft is orlon.

Visually, I like the way the thin stipes poke in and out of the crimp pattern.  The weight and drape are comfortable for a scarf.  The width could be a bit wider.  This could be done by either making the warp wider, doing a partial crimp, or by doing a looser crimp.

More experiements on the horizon.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Undulating Twill Silk Scarf

Silk Scarf
This scarf was a first for me in that it is 100% silk.  I have used silk combination fibers before but never all silk.  The warp is a rather hefty fiber labeled 'Linear Silk'.  It was provided by the recipient and looked like twisted strands of long silk fibers.  More like a twisted roving than a spun yarn.

Given it was a color gradation (named Grey Mint) I wanted to use as warp and it proved strong enough.  I used a sett of 12epi and chose a simple undulating twill structure to show off the gradation.  It was on skeins and winding the warp was a little fussy due to some thin areas in the fiber that I had to work around.  Getting it on the loom went smoothly. The weft is a standard Henry's Attic cream colored silk.  I used it doubled to match the weight of the linear silk.

The weaving was straightforward other than care to not over tension.  I was a bit worried too much tension would stress the linear silk.

I followed an article on washing silk and it turned out really lovely.  After wet finish I decided on a braided fringe because the twisted warp was not going to work with a twisted fringe.

The scarf is  heavier than one would expect for silk yet the drape is quite lovely.