Wednesday, September 10, 2008


As a production weaver, I am always trying to fine tune the process in order to work as efficiently as possible. Since I don't like straggly fringes, and feel that cellulose fibres need to be protected somehow, I've worked out a method that works well for me in terms of fringe twisting.

Rather than use spacers, I begin weaving by using some sort of "scrap" yarn about the same grist (thickness) as the weft I plan on using. It doens't have to be exactly the same - somewhat larger or smaller works, too.

I begin by weaving about a quarter to half an inch, then roll the warp forward about 5.5 inches. Then, 4 to 8 shots are woven, depending on the weave structure. A contrasting colour works best, because these shots will be removed. I then begin weaving my textile, finishing the other end in the same way - about 4 to 8 shots of the contrasting "fugitive" yarn, roll forward about 5.5 inches, and weave about a quarter to half an inch using the fugitive yarn.

If I'm weaving another item, I weave half an inch, roll forward 5.5 inches and begin the next item with the 4-8 shots of fugitive yarn.

After cutting the textile off the loom, I lay it flat on my work table as shown. A heavy book holds it in place while I cut the fugitive yarns and remove them. In the photo, the weft tail is to the left, and I begin twisting on the right hand side, working from right to left cutting the fugitive ends, twisting, and then cutting and removing the next section of fugitive yarns. Generally I cut about 4 to 6" of the fugitive yarn at a time. The rest of the fugitive will hold everything in place until the twisting is done.

In the photo, you can see that there are four groups that have been twisted, the fringe twister ready to do the next group, and the untwisted ends, held together at the bottom by the fugitive threads (in pink).

After wet finishing, I trim the wispy bits off the ends, which makes the finished end of the fringe look "beaded".

1 comment:

Peg in South Carolina said...

The fringing technique is brilliant! Thank you for sharing.