Saturday, August 2, 2014

Weaving with Linen

This will be the 'face' of the towels.  Colours are not accurate, see photo below 

Weaving with the fewest shafts up means I'm weaving the cloth with the 'back' side facing me.  If you have an 'ordinary' treadle jack loom, the fewer shafts being lifted, the less effort required to do the lifting.  It's a habit I got into when I first got the loom and even though I now have air assist on the treadle, I still set up my warps to lift the fewest number of shafts when ever possible.

There is a subtlety involved in weaving that isn't well known but shows up quite clearly with this warp.  Notice anything...odd...about the fell in the picture below?

Yes, indeed, the last pick isn't in proper alignment.

Is this a problem?  Actually, no.  Because in point of fact, the pick will be set into place by the next pick woven.

This isn't usually seen but I've spoken to other experienced weavers and the observation is that the beater just presses the pick into rough alignment and it is the weaving of the next pick that seats each pick properly in the cloth.

Since linen is stiff and wire-y, plus the weave structure is mostly a 1:3 twill, the tendency for the pick to pop up and away from the pick below is much more noticeable.  A second beat is not required, just a slow steady consistent laying in of each and every pick.  Subsequent picks press the pick below into place.

As for reed marks.  I know a large number of people anguish over them, worry about putting more than one or two threads in a dent, fuss about the 'streaks' in the cloth.  Personally I don't worry about them overly much.  Reed marks are not, in my lexicon, a 'flaw' but the foot prints of the loom in the cloth.  Most time they disappear - or are greatly reduced - in the wet finishing.  But not always.  And if they don't, I don't worry about them much.  They are, after all, consistent.  And if you can't be perfect, be consistent...

Currently reading The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is some of the most beautiful fabric I've ever seen. I was unaware of the unruliness of the fell line with linen. I knew about the humidity factor. Very good to know. These are gonna be some amazing towels! ^5

Tom in IL