Monday, February 2, 2009


A couple of days ago I mentioned in a comment (I think) that I had woven a waffle weave towel with purposefully ruffled hems. The puckering doesn't show up very well in this photo - if you look closely at the bands in between the waffle areas, you might just be able to see 'lines'. These lines are where the fabric has pinched up or down to accommodate the greater contraction of the waffle compared to the twill bands.

The towel grew out of some sampling I did (foreground) on a 2/20 merc. cotton warp. The samples to the left were woven with 2/16 unmerc. natural cotton; the samples to the right were woven with bleached white 2/20 merc. cotton.

During wet finishing, the 2/16 weft, which was woven at the same ppi as the 2/20 cotton, developed deeper dimples and felt much more towel-like so using the 2/16 I wove a towel with weft stripes of waffle and twill.

I have found this to be true for many of the fabrics that rely on the torquing of the threads to develop - Bedford cord is another - that the more densely the cloth is woven, the more the 3D aspect of the fabric will develop. Something that feels completely counter-intuitive.

The selvedges are scalloped, the twill areas pucker a la seersucker, and the hems are lightly ruffled, of course. I did not hard press this towel! :D

I have been toying with the idea of weaving a part waffle, part twill towel on the present warp, but I'm still mulling the concept over in the back of my mind as I weave the complex twills with the very fine linen weft. The nearly four pound cones are down to about 1 pound 11 ounces and I'm almost half done the 40 yard warp. Which means that by the end of the warp, I'll still likely have linen left.

My goodness but you do get a lot of play value for fine, fine yarns!!!! :O


Gwen said...

Oh, that's so cool! I like both the waffle and the ruffled hems! :)
(Just another thing to add to my rapidly expanding list of things to try someday!)

Sue said...

Wow - when I clicked on the photo to see the bigger version, I was surprised!! Cool effect!

I like the "play value" for fine yarn idea....I try to think that way when I have to unravel knitting and re-knit.....more enjoyment from the same yarn!