Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Towel draft

As part of my stash reduction plan, I am trying very hard to use up what I have on hand, and not buy more yarn.

These towels were made from 2/16 unmercerized cotton for warp, and cottolin for weft.

The warp was 21" in the reed, 10 yards long, wound in two sections or warp chains. Generally I use a warping valet (trapeze) to beam longer/wider warps, using one water jug for each section. The jugs have the same amount of water so that they provide the same degree of tension to each section.

During threading, I changed twill direction each time the colour changed, but skipped a shaft so that there is a break at the change. There are two advantages to doing this. The first is that no float is more than two threads. The second is that I can change direction of the twill line in the treadling and none of the selvedge threads will "fall out" of the cloth. This means that no floating selvedge is required.

If you follow the draft exactly, beginning with the shuttle entering from the right hand side of the warp, all of the threads will weave, all of the time. Unless, of course, a mistake is made in treadling.

In the photo in my previous post, you can see the reed marks quite clearly. These should mostly come out during wet finishing. An eight dent reed was used, 4 ends per dent. The selvedge was threaded with two threads per heddle in the outside four heddles, but the density was kept the same - 32 epi.

For finer or more fragile threads (singles, for example) I will frequently double the selvedges in the heddles, but keep the density the same in the reed.

The towels were woven with 60 picks of plain weave for hems using the 2/16 cotton in the darker of the two colours, then twill with the heavier cottolin. I used 20 picks of twill, then changed direction. By counting picks up to 40, I could tell exactly where I was in the sequence at all times.


Peg in South Carolina said...

The counting is a good idea, though sometimes I have to resort to one of those knitting counters that I hang around my neck!

Valerie said...

Hi Laura,

Just wanted you to know I'm following and enjoying your posts. Also enjoyed your interview w/ Syne Mitchell.

Laura said...

I think the idea of counting came from my background in dance - to learn a new choreography, dancers will count steps. In my mind I think of treadling sequences as choreography. :)

I'm enjoying reading the blogs of others - had no idea how many weaving blogs there were! Enjoyed the Stephen Harper book list, too...thanks for the link, Valerie.

Syne Mitchell is doing a wonderful job of creating podcasts - and WeaveZine, too, of course.


Sandra Rude said...

Hi, Laura,
I'm so glad you've begun blogging! It's nearly as therapeutic as weaving, you know. Stay healthy!
Cheers - Sandra

Laura said...

Thanks Sandra - and congrats on you award for fav blog - well deserved!