Sunday, July 21, 2013

Selvedge Subtlety

 cloth winding onto cloth beam in a spiral

Sticks inserted to provide support for the cloth

The painted warps are 10.5 meters long, yielding 4 scarves.  Apparently I did a sloppy job somewhere along the line getting this one into the loom.

A) the reed slipped sideways as the warp was winding onto the warp beam
B) I tied the warp off centre at the beginning
C) Both of the above

With the cloth winding onto the cloth beam in a spiral the right selvedge is hanging free over nothing but air.  This means the cloth is curving downwards because there is nothing to support it and the right selvedge is beginning to loosen.  (Could not show this in a photo.)

There are two things that can be done to fix this problem.

A)  Cut off what has already been woven and re-tie.

B)  Insert sticks to provide a solid foundation for the cloth to wind onto.

Since I am half way through scarf #3 cutting off is not an option, so I simply inserted sticks as I continued to roll onwards.

There are two other situations where inserting sticks or cutting off are required.  (Which is why I cringe when the immediate answer to the question of poor selvedges is 'use an end feed shuttle'.  An end feed shuttle will do nothing to correct poor selvedges in the above and the following instances.)

A)  The weaver has been weaving a twill weave structure and then switches to plain weave.  Since plain weave does not draw in as much as twill, the selvedges will be hanging over open air and eventually both selvedges will loosen.

B)  The weaver changes to a thicker weft.  Again the cloth will not draw in as much as previously and both selvedges will hang over open air.

When I am switching weave structures and/or thickness of weft, I try to weave the wider cloth first.  But if that isn't possible, inserting sticks will often times do the trick.

Currently reading The Bride Box by Michael Pearce


Rhonda from Baddeck said...

Thanks for this tip! I find my right selvedge is often looser and don't know why. I'll check to see if this is the problem, and might even insert sticks if it isn't!

Laura Fry said...

Yes, it is a subtle thing and if you aren't looking for it, that might be the problem.