Monday, September 2, 2013

To Float or Not

I am constantly seeing the advice on the chat groups that you must have a plain weave interlacement at the selvedge and if you don't as in the advancing twill above, you must use a floating selvedge in order to achieve good selvedges.

Well, you can if you want to, but personally, I don't like weaving with floating selvedges.  I learned how to weave without them, never saw the need for them (except in 3 or 4 very specialized instances) and never use them.

Some people need the security of using a floating selvedge.  Some don't.  My message, take it for what it's worth, is that you do not have to use them if you don't want to.

Learn how to beam your warp with good consistent tension, then learn how to wind a bobbin with good tension and evenly wound - no hills or valleys - then learn how to hold and throw your shuttle so that the weft feeds off without snags and jerks.

The above silk cloth (out of the washer/dryer but not yet pressed) was woven with an advancing twill treadling which means that there are no plain weave interlacements at the selvedge.

Choose your expert, then decide for yourself what you need to do to achieve the quality of cloth you desire.


Melissa G. said...

That selvedge looks fantastic! Thank you for the picture :)

Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

Well, us dumb Swedes didn't even KNOW about floating selvages until 10-5 years ago...
(The Swe weaving tradition is quite a bit older than that)

Klara said...

Isn't that (also) a question of how long the floats at the edge will be without a floating selvedge? 3 picks not catching the selvedge thread(s) is less of a problem with 9 epcm than with 3 epcm... As I'm usually weaving with 3 - 4 epcm, I like my floating selvedges!

Laura Fry said...

Each weaver must decide whether or not to use a floating selvedge. I have never found a 3 thread float on the selvedge to be an issue. Each must do as they decide is best for their own circumstance.