Friday, January 4, 2019

Choosing Direction

Above are two drafts for a four shaft 'pin wheel'.  Notice anything about them?  The cloth is identical, the only difference is in the direction they have been threaded and the tie up.  

The one on top is how I prefer to thread.  I am right handed, prefer to thread from right to left with the straight draw direction beginning at the back of the loom coming forward to the front of the loom.

Why?  Because I find this to be the most efficient way to thread.  (Left handers may find threading from left to right easier.)

In almost all publications (now) drafts are written with the first thread on shaft one.  Why?  Probably because weaving software likes number 1 to be on shaft number 1.  I really don't know.  But for me, threading with the straight draw going upwards and away from me leads to a physical position that I find very uncomfortable and fatiguing.

Thing is, drafts are not written in stone.  With Fiberworks Silver there is a 'shaft shuffler' tool which allows me to quickly change a threading draft to something I find easier to thread, be that changing the diagonal of a straight progression, adjusting where pattern ends fall in a draft, etc.

Once a weave structure is understood, it is fairly easy to make adjustments - add extra repeats of a border on the selvedge, separate motifs within the body of a draft and so on.

The above is a partial image (because the complete draft is too large to copy properly) where I took the Canadian Snowflake draft (I reduced the 8 shaft Swedish Snowflake design to four shafts) then turned it into a twill block draft.  This will be the next warp that goes into the AVL.

There are times when the straight draw has to change direction, and I live with that, but when the straight draw is all one way?  I will change it to my preferred method where the diagonal goes from the back of the loom to the front to make the job of threading easier.

The more someone understands how threading drafts work, the more they can adjust the draft to fit their intended cloth and get closer to the results they desire.

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