Saturday, 16 August 2014

Weaving table linen

Tea for two.

I have just completed a set of place mats.

Weave Structure: plain weave and 2/2 twill

Warp: cottolin

Sett: 24 epi                     12 reed with two ends per dent.

Weft: 6/1 Tow linen. I used a light blue to contrast with the bright blue of the warp, 16/2 cotton in the same colour for the hem and 16/2 linen in a contrasting colour for the twill stripes.

Number of warp ends: 312    The last two warp ends at the selvedges are threaded as one to provide a firmer edge to the cloth.

Width at reed: 13 inches (33 cm)

Picks per inch approx: 18

Start and finish each place mat with 10 picks using 16/2 cotton.  This is for the fold under part of the hem. Using a thinner yarn makes the hem less bulky.

The tow linen is a singles yarn and needs to be woven carefully. Here is my suggestion of how to avoid the singles yarn twisting into little loops on the surface of the cloth.

The weaving sequence:

  1. Take shuttle through the shed to the right.
  2. Hold the weft at left selvedge and tug to ensure that the previous weft is lying flat.
  3. Fold the weft and hold at the left side. Pull the weft on the shuttle so that it is straight and lies about 2.5 inches above the fell of the cloth on the right selvedge.
  4. Change the shed so that the stretched weft is trapped.
  5. Beat firmly.
  6. Repeat taking the shuttle through to the left.

You can get a good rhythm with the weaving.  It is important to straighten out the weft and then to change the shed.  This ensures that the weft does not try to twist together and form little loops of yarn on the surface of the cloth.

loops of twisted yarn on the surface of the cloth.


Here is the cloth showing the loops of twisted yarn on the surface.

A smooth surface with no loops.

Weaving correctly, by pulling the weft taut and trapping it in the shed before beating, ensures that the surface of the weaving is smooth.

length of woven cloth
 Off the loom you can see how three to four picks of waste yarn divide the place mats.

I wove four mats.  The design is very simple. There are four picks of 2/2 twill in a contrasting colour.  I used 16/2 linen used double. When weaving twill, it is important to catch the final warp end at each side when weaving twill.

Once off the loom, I cut the table mats and hemmed them.  Then they were washed and pressed.

Dimensions before washing

length after hemming: 15.75 inches (40 cm)                 width:   12.5 inches  (32 cm)

Dimensions after washing.

length:         15.5 inches (39.5 cm)                                width:  12 inches (30.5 cm)

Happy Weaving

Durham Weaver  July 2014

Friday, 1 August 2014

Making a bag for the Weave Fair.

A mobile advertisement for the Weave Fair.

A selection of my woven bands.

Poster for Weave Fair

I decided to make myself a bag to hold my anticipated purchases at the Weave Fair in Umea. I loved the poster so I printed it on some unbleached calico.

I chose several of the patterns to weave. I used one pattern for the handles and another for the trim around the top of the bag. A third band I stitched down the sides.

I liked the simple black and pink and black and green designs. Here is the weave draft for the bands.  I wove the green pattern for the bag trim.

weave draft

Two bands using the same weave draft.

Here is the pink version being woven on my Swedish band loom. This loom weaves bands very quickly.  My YouTube video shows this loom in action:  Five ways of weaving narrow bands.

The colours of the poster inspired me to try another band. Normally, I would not have chosen these colours or patterns but the overall effect is very lively. I stitched this band down the sides of the bag.

Poster design

This band has 61 warp ends. 
The band is woven in 16/2 cotton.

The green and yellow band has 15 pattern threads.  I used this band for the bag straps.  Here is a picture of the two sides of the band. The pattern draft and weaving instructions are on my blog under Weaving Bands.

Poster design

This band has 15 pattern green pattern threads.

I also wove a version of the pink and black patterned band.

Poster design

Black pattern threads and pink weft. 

The seven pattern threads are black. This has one border in pink and the other border in black.  Using a pink weft creates a small dotted pattern on the black selvedge.  I wove it using the double slotted heddle with 7 pattern slots. The pattern draft and weaving instructions are on my blog under Weaving Bands.  I also wove another examples of this 7 pattern thread band with pink pattern threads and a black weft.

The simple white pattern on green has 5 pattern threads. This was very quick and easy to weave.

Poster design

Band with 5 pattern threads.
There are many more bands which can be designed using the poster as an inspiration. Look at my blog under Weaving bands for details and the pattern drafts.

Here is my colourful and very attention-grabbing bag: a mobile advertisement for the Weave Fair!

Greetings from Durham

It is fun to design your own bands from patterns.

Graphic representations of weave patterns crop up in many different places.  The Latvian men's bobsleigh team in the Sochi winter Olympics had a band pattern on the back of their clothes.  A longer version stretched down the bob sleigh.

Latvian bobsleigh team.

This would make a lovely patterned band.

Happy weaving.

Durham Weaver  August 2014