Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Dilutes

green/purple/blue towels

close up showing the herringbone border

This warp is a wonderful example of Michelle Whiplinger's mantra about the effect of colour values.

If you substitute 'light value' for white you get the same effect - the intense green/purple/dark blue almost black has been diluted by the natural grey linen weft.

(The complete mantra is "White dilutes, black intensifies, grey muddies")

The cutting line - woven in a slightly darker than medium value blue stands out as a very dark line, showing that dark values intensify too.

With such a deep intensity of colour and a fairly high contrast value weft I wanted a very simple weave structure rather than a 'fancy' one which I felt would overpower the textile.

So for this warp I just threaded straight draw for the green and purple and the dark blue is reverse twill herringbone. In other words, I skipped a shaft when I changed direction:

4,3,2,1 (Straight order)

3,4,1,2 (Reversed order)

There are just four threads in each blue stripe to add an accent to the design. I didn't want equal amounts of the green and purple, but neither did I want unrelieved purple in the centre field. You can just see a very subtle stripe happening in the purple stripes.

The close up photo shows the twill direction and the herringbone border which will decorate one end of the towels.

The little lines are reed marks which likely won't entirely come out in the wet finishing but since they are regular I'm not overly concerned about them. (If you can't be perfect, be consistent!)

Opted to not have plain weave hems. Plain weave and twill take up at different rates and I didn't want hems that flared. Since cotton and linen will behave quite differently in the wet finishing, I didn't want to use cotton for hems, either. A cutting line will be inserted between the towels for ease in cutting and serging once the warp is woven.

I am also having to adapt my shuttle throwing. The weft is so very fine that I'm doubling it using a doubling stand. But being as how it is linen, it tends to wrap around the spindle in the shuttle unless I pull off sufficient weft for each pick, braking the bobbin as I catch the shuttle so that it doesn't cast off any more until I actually pull the weft off the bobbin.

This is the sort of yarn that weavers love to put onto an end feed shuttle but since I don't have any hand end feed shuttles and because I can adapt my shuttle throwing/catching, it's not something that bothers me over much. With 11 meters to weave, I'll soon be doing what's necessary without having to think about it.

And every time it does catch and wrap around the spindle I will remind myself that I am weaving with a fine, wiry linen with special needs and aren't these towels going to be mighty fine once they're done. :^)


weaveblah said...

Thank-you; a great tutorial and much to consider.
I think I know what a 'doubling stand' is, but I might use Google for confirmation.

Sande Francis said...

Hi, Laura. I have read much about moistening linen so that it behaves better. Might that work with your wirey weft if you were willing to put in the extra time? The towels are beautiful - I'm waiting now for the house to warm up enough for me to take off my gloves so I can weave!