Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Poor Man's Damask

Twill blocks are sometimes called 'poor man's damask'.  So here is the pine trees and snowballs pattern woven with the same yarn both warp and weft.  Yes, they are, indeed, the same colour.  So why do we see a very distinct difference between the warp and weft?  It's physics, m'dear.  It is the way the light reflects off the surface of the yarns.  It is this principle that makes damask work with it's very elegant white on white (or any colour on itself) to show up the pattern woven.  It's all a trick of the light.

As you can see, I've used up the last of the very fine singles linen.  I'm very happy to finish this warp using up as much of the red cotton as it will take to complete the 40 yard warp.  I think there's about 10 yards left, give or take.  The red on red cotton will be turned into towels, the linen and cotton will become table runners.  I'm hoping to cut the linen off the loom tomorrow after weaving enough length so that I can cut at the back of the loom and not have to re-tie.  Mainly because I'm lazy and I'd rather just keep on weaving than stop and cut off at the reed and re-tie.  It's one of the nice features of the AVL - this ability to cut off what you've woven without having to actually cut off at the reed.

Doug made me several storage rollers so when I get about 2 yards woven I cut the cloth off the apron and insert a storage roller.  I can, at any time, cut off at the back of the loom and remove what I've woven for the next step.  When I was weaving for the fashion designer I'd weave about 40 yards or so and process the web (inspection and repair) and ship to her.  No time was lost because I could just keep on going.

I have no problems with the tieing of a warp.  So many people say they struggle to get even tension, there are numerous processes that 'guarantee' 'perfect' tension.  I just use the good old surgeon's knot and have rarely had any problems getting good tension.  But whatever works, right?

If I'm working with something slippery that won't hold a knot, I lash on.  I think I demo'd both of these methods on The Efficient Weaver.  The trick, as far as I can see, is to tie groups that are neither too large nor too small.  Too small and it seems as though it's nearly impossible to get everything close enough to the same tension to get good results.  Too much and the outside ends are under more tension than the middle ones, and again - almost impossible to get good results.  So my bouts are about 1 inch.  (.75" - 1.25")

If you are having tension issues due to the method used to tie on, do some research and see the other ways there are to accomplish the task.  Perhaps one of those other methods will suit you, your loom and your materials better than what you are doing.


Peg Cherre said...

As I often do, I learned something from this blog post, Laura. Didn't really know that about damask. Personally, I like the red on red best.

As a new weaver, I used to hate the tie on most of all. Now it's just a task, no big deal. But it was soooo scary at first, knowing that if I didn't do it well all my work to that point was wasted. Or I'd get a really inferior product. Experience, experience, practice, practice.

steelwool said...

The red on red is quite lovely. I kept moving the picture about to see the same pattern, amazing that it is the same as the 2 color weave. Thanks for the example.