Thursday, 31 May 2012

Curved cloth

It would be an interesting challenge to get this effect on purpose, a curve down the length of the cloth.

The secret of this error lies in the winding of the linen warp. I wound half one evening, half the next. It might have just been that one day I was pulling the yarn tighter on the warp board. It could be that there was a second  factor - humidity. Linen is stiffer when drier, more flexible when damp.

I knew that there was a difference in tension when I was winding the warp on the loom, it was showing where the warp pulled through the lease sticks

(Super little lease sticks by the way, they came with the loom and you see them here joined together with a treasury tag and tied to the castle)

The warp in front of the lease sticks on the left is distinctly slack, whilst on the right the tension is fairly even. When the warp was wound on the ends on this side were a few inches longer. I trimmed them off before tying the warp on, assuming that the tension problem was resolved.

It looked fine when weaving, and fine when I first removed the cloth from the loom, only showing up when laid out flat to measure the piece before washing.

Something else I discovered very late, only when trying a few inches of wool weft near the end of the warp.  A threading error, that showed more with the wool and more on the reverse of the fabric.

Somewhere I have a mirror for inspecting the reverse of the fabric while it is on the loom - next time I should use it! This error hardly showed from the front with the cotton weft (left) although I would have seen it on the reverse (right).


Laura Fry said...

Hi Dorothy, I use a contrasting colour in the heading when beginning in order to try and highlight any threading/sleying errors. But sometimes they just aren't visible until after the cloth comes off the loom - or even until after wet finishing. :(

As for the bend in the cloth, that probably has more to do with the tension during beaming. As you noted one side has more slack in it - if you'd removed the slack as you were beaming, it should have been equalized on the beam. Do you beam with tension on the warp?

Meg in Nelson said...

Lovely color, though, and look at the sheen! I used to have a curve like that for many of my pieces and someone asked if I always beat with one hand and/or on the side of the cloth. I'm not sure if it's pertinent in a narrow loom, but on the big loom trying to beat at the middle of the cloth OR using both hands and beating the cloth as evenly as possible, (among other improvements while winding) has/have helped.

But then I wonder, too; a scarf goes around a body which is not evenly symmetrical or uniformly cylindrical, and a curve like this makes more sense in terms of fitting the body, c.f. sewing patterns for collars? IMHO.

Anyway, glad you're weaving again.

Trapunto said...

I was thinking exactly what Meg said in her second paragraph!

Green, green, greens, especially clear ones. I can't get enough of them lately. So pretty! If you need someone to take it off your hands...

I'm so impressed you thought of the humidity. A second warp on this loom will give more clues about the curving. For me it is the winding on top of anything else; my tension always increases as I go no matter what I do. Since I don't need two leases the way I warp, I was happy to learn I could wind (symmetrical) warps twice as long as I needed, cut them in half, and put both tight sides to the selvedges. Cheating but it works.

Cally said...

I ended with a banana shaped scarf for one of my Bradford pieces and I felt really uncomfortable about its imperfection... I had another piece to weave on the same warp so I cut it off and straightened out the tension, but it was the banana scarf which sold first!

Dorothy said...

Hi Laura that;s a great tip about using a contrasting colour, I shall try that next time, and the mirror!

I did weight the warp all the time whilst winding it on to the loom. I'm monitoring humidity now, wondering how much effect it can have. We had 50% humidity a couple of days ago, 65% yesterday.

I think Trapunto is right about trying a second warp, I was going to use cotton next but maybe the same linen would be a good idea and see if winding the whole warp in one session makes a difference.

I rather like the curve, as I was planning to wear this for a scarf! I wonder if I have been beating with the same hand, next time I will think about that and make sure I use alternate hands. I think it is possible that I was using my right hand every time. Thanks Meg!

Dorothy said...

Cally - good to know your banana scarf sold first! I like this shape, but am intending to weave twill strips and sew a jacket, so would like to be able to do straight as well.

liz said...

Dot,so glad I'm not the only one to discover a threading mistake.Also that you are enjoying the 12shaft MEYER loom, I have one now and am going to try my hand at rag weaving for the first time Will let you kow how I get on Liz

Dorothy said...

Hi Liz, I hadn't thought of rag weaving on my little loom,now I am having ideas, I've got loads of fat quarters that I bought for patchwork but have never used, probably enough to weave for a colourful jacket! I wouldn't use them on the floor loom as there is not enough of each fabric piece/colour to work in wide fabric.

Enjoy your weaving!