Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Waffle Towels

I had intended to use 2/16 cotton for weft on the waffle towels, but in my digging in the store room uncovered some of the singles 6 cotton I have.

The yarn was sent as an error as part of a large order of 2/8 cotton directly from one of the few spinning mills left in Canada a number of years ago. I don't even know if they are still in business.

Anyway, I rather suspect the 3 fifty pound cases of singles 6 they sent me were intended to be plied as the yarn has rather a lot of twist energy in it. As a result, in the right circumstances, the yarn will torque during wet finishing and 'collapse'. This twist energy actually works quite well in waffle weave which, as a weave structure, 'collapses'.

We returned two of the cases but since I was already exploring collapse effects, I kept one of them. I forget about it because I don't use it very often and it gets buried to be unearthed from time to time as I attempt to reduce my stash. :}

To make things easier for myself I weave a cut line into the cloth so that when it is cut from the loom it's as easy matter to cut them apart for serging. I program an empty pick into my liftplan to alert me when to insert the cut line picks.

The areas of waffle are separated by areas of twill. The hems are the same twill. Once the cloth is wet finished the twill stripes mirror the shrinkage rate of the hems and it all becomes a design element.

And no, these towels won't get a hard press although the ones with the linen for weft will.


DebbieB said...

Interesting - waffle and twill alternated! I'll bet that's a great textural feature. Must weave some!

Laura said...

I don't use plain weave because the shrinkage differential is just too great. Once these are done I'll post pictures. :)

schotanus said...

Hello Laura
How nice that you've already woven with which I am still thinking. I have been walking around a few weeks with an idea in my head about my first waffle towels. I already gotthe required headache from it.
A few weeks ago I got my first waffle weave from the loom. With a plain weave at the beginning and end of the towel. Of course, the plaine weave is not shrunk as much as the waffle. As a solution, I thought of alternating the waffle with a twill. Actually, I would make blocks. Twill surrounds the waffle and thus captures the shrinkage differential in the towel so it stays pretty square.
The big problem for me is that I now what I want but the problem is that I can not translate it into a pattern. Could this be done on 8 shafts? I have a towel(did not weave it my self) in which it is applied and the edges still exist just in plain weave so you can easily finish.
I hope you can help me.
Sorry for the bad englisch

Greetings Jolanda

ls said...

I've recently acquired some large cones of cotton chenille (1450 ypp). Can you offer suggestions for using it in towels or other cloth? I'm limited to my 8 shaft loom and 14 yd warping board. But I'd very much like to experiment with it in a variety of ways. Thanks!

Laura said...

I'm not a big fan of chenille for towels. What I have done with cotton chenille is used it as the outline thread in honeycomb to make a great jacket. The warp is 2/16 cotton, the weft cotton chenille and 2/20 merc. cotton. Details are in Magic in the Water. The jacket has been shoved in more overhead compartments than I can shake a stick at and it simply does not crease! I may have to make more fabric like it when the jacket wears out. :)

I would not probably use cotton chenille in waffle because the fabric would be extremely thick (used as warp and weft) and I don't know that it would wear very well. I haven't done any sampling so could not say for sure.

If you have a lot of the yarn and you want to use it warp and weft you will want to sample some before you commit to a large project. I'd start with 16 epi for plain weave.

One way to make a thinner fabric is to use a very fine warp with the chenille as weft.

email me if you have further questions laura and laurafry dot com