Monday, December 28, 2009

Coping with Wire-y Thread

You can clearly see how spring-y this yarn is - it doesn't want to lie nice and tidy on the bobbins but leaps off at every opportunity.

It's especially difficult when it's being doubled (click on the doubling stand tag to the right) as each end can spring off in different directions.

So the first strategy in dealing with this yarn is to hold it close to the bobbin as it is being wound on. That way the placement of the yarn onto the bobbin can be better controlled. My fingers are no more than 2" away from the bobbin during winding, more usually 1".

Secondly, fill the bobbin only equal to the height of the flanges. There are two reasons for this - a) linen is dense and filling the bobbin any fuller makes the drag on the weft too heavy and b) keeping the yarn filled to a low profile makes it easier to weave. Since it wants to spring off at every opportunity, any higher and the snarls and tangles around the spindle in the shuttle just increase proprotionately. (Ask how I know!)

Third, when inserting the bobbin into the shuttle make sure that both threads are coming off the bobbin equally. It is common for one of the threads to spring off the bobbin 3 turns while the other one springs off 4 or 5 turns. So take the time when inserting the bobbin to make sure they are coming off together.

I think I've just finished towel #4 - or is it 5? Whatever, progress is being made and it's time to think about the next warp. Will I have the patience to do another warp using this yarn as weft? Hmmmmmm...a break using something friendlier may be in order. :^)


Dave Daniels said...

I'm having this same situation using hemp. It really does have it's own properties.

Sharon Schulze said...

I'm using some acrylic raffia on a thick cotton warp for placemats and it's jumpy, too. Not as jumpy (or nearly as fine) as the linen but I can't wind too many bobbins ahead or it all just jumps off.

I haven't actually started the placemats yet but I did sample on some miniature placemats aka mug mats. The thing is, they look like little bitty placemats and I am so tickled with them!

Laura said...

For linen (or hemp) what some people do is wet the bobbins. I don't have enough to try it - go through them too fast. :)

Wouldn't try that with the raffia, tho.


paula williams said...

I wind all the bobbins I think I'll need and then sock them in water over night. I weave with the damp bobbins and they behave beautifully and make very neat edges

Sharon Schulze said...

I'm having a big smile imagining Laura weaving like the wind and the linen getting ready to jump off but just not having time. :-D

Time to go wind that placemat warp.

Carrie said...

Soaking the bobbins worked very well for me when I had the same problem. I found even just an hour in a bucket with some water would be enough to keep the pesky yarn in its place. Of course, I also wasn't paying such close attention to winding them as you are, so I was having many issues.

Laura said...

Winding a bobbin well becomes critical with pesky weft yarns. :(

The drier it is, the more bast fibres will act up. I run a humidifier from Nov to well, whenever spring finally arrives. :)

Even for warp winding the humidity helps - static electricity can build up other wise.


Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

Or you could hold the yarn with a wet towel while doing the winding. Soaking paper quills doesn't work...

Sharon Schulze said...

Woo hoo!! After a little over 4 months I have a warping valet!! Clever and simple construction that includes an open hook, links of chain, and a stainless steel S hook. With a wooden closet hangrod for the bar. Haven't tried it yet but the design was meant to be minimally invasive and works because of the construction of our house. Daddy figured out the details and we put it up together. And I have a warp wound and ready to go so hopefully it will go on tonight! HOORAY!!!

AND... to make the day even better... a box full of happy arrived from Canada. Color studies here I come!