Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Designing stripes Two further ideas

Designing Stripes.

I love stripes and designing stripes for a particular purpose. (see my post for April 2015)

However, I also practice designing stripes using narrow warp faced bands.  They are very quick to weave and are a great way of deciding which colours go well together.

Designing band patterns.

The first decision is band use which gives me a range of appropriate yarns to use. The use will also indicate the desirable band width.

I have sets of bands woven with 60 warp ends each of which has three stripes.  I have sets of bands in silk, cotton, cottolin and linen as these are the usual threads that I use.  If I need a band of a particular width, I can look at my sample of bands in a particular thread to see approximately how many warp ends I need for a particular width.  The individual bands in three colour stripes make width measurement easy. Each colour is 20 warp ends.

Here is a sample of my page of cotton bands.

One of my reference pages in my own files of striped bands

Once I have the approximate number of warp ends and type of yarn to use I can think about designing a band pattern.

My book The Art of Simple Band Weaving is a compilation of many of the narrow warp faced bands that I have woven.  It is also my guide when designing. I look through the pictures of woven bands to see the effect that I want to produce.  The bands are divided into broad colour groups, so I can see what I have woven before and what colours produce particular effects.

I have discovered that I prefer symmetrical patterns so sometimes I deliberately design a non-symmetrical pattern.  Sometimes it is useful to break out from familiar and well tried ways! Weaving a short sample for a narrow band is not time consuming but can be a valuable way of trying out new colour combinations and pattern stripes.

Another source of ideas and inspiration is the internet. I have been pinning pictures onto my Pinterest board as it is very convenient to have a record of different materials with stripes. Do check out this resource as it is a very convenient way of grouping similar images together. The link is on my blog page.

Old weaving books can also have useful tips.  This chart came from a weaving book published in the 1920,s
Stripe pattern templates 

This is a graphic outline of common stripe sequences.

Last year. I organised a workshop about stripes for the Durham Guild. One exercise involved everyone choosing their favourite colours.  They coloured in the graphic chart to produce a number of different stripe ideas. Here are a few of their examples.

Yarns were chosen and made into a yarn wrap to see how the colours and proportions worked together. This was a warm up exercise to help them think about colours and spacings.

Designing with colour.

I love to practice designing stripes using narrow warp faced bands.  They are very quick to weave and are a great way of deciding which colours go well together for many different weaving projects.

In The Art of Band Weaving, I describe how I find new colour and pattern combinations. Here is an example of the method of playing with colour combinations.

Look at the picture of a peacock feather.

picture of a peacock feather

Take two pieces of card and place them over the picture.  Leave a narrow space between the two cards and you have a stripe of colours.

A stripe of the picture

From this stripe I designed this band.

I used 2/60 silk used double to make the band wider.

There are 46 warp ends for this band
My Swedish band loom is so quick and easy to use.  I wove this band for this blog.

The band being woven on my Swedish band loom.

Here is a close up of the band. The actual width is 1.5 cm.

A close up of the band.

Enjoy experimenting with yarns and stripes.

Happy weaving.

Susan J Foulkes  June 2016

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Stripes for furnishing fabric: covering a chair

The chair in my weaving room needed a new seat cover.  I decided to weave some fabric and do it myself.

Chair needing a new seat cover

Designing the stripes.

I thought about the seat cover and decided that I would try to make the stripes link up to the chair back.  I made yarn wraps to see what the stripes would look like.  I had to measure the distance between each stripe and make a small allowance for shrinkage so that after finishing the material would fit the chair and the stripes would be in the correct place. 

My initial sketch of pattern and one of the yarn wraps.
My initial ideas were put to the test.  I wove a short sample and then adjusted the strip widths so that they would correspond to the width of the slats on the chair back.

Weave structure: Swedish cross twill.

drawdown for Swedish cross twill
The furnishing fabric was woven using four shafts.

Warp: bleached 16/2 cotton
Weft: half bleached Lintow 8
colours: Lintow 6 in white, black and grey

Sett: 36 epi

Reed 12 sleyed at 3 per dent
Selvedge: sley and extra thread in the final dent.

Wide stripe close up
 For the wide stripe in the centre the weft sequence is:

White: 4       4      4     4          4     4     4         4
Black:     16                      16                     16
Grey:                8     8                 8     8

Medium stripe sequence
The weft sequence is:

White: 4      4      4      4
Black:     8              8
Grey:             16

Narrow stripe sequence
The weft sequence is:

White; 2      4       4     2
Black:             8
Grey:      4             4

Recovered chair.

The seat was easy to re-cover.

The material is very sturdy and will wear well.  The original idea for the fabric came from an  old Vav Magasinet magazine, no 4, 1997, p31.  I love Swedish design and Vav Magasinet has such beautiful patterns.

This is the picture for the material in Vav Magasinet.

I wove a length of this material to cover a seat in the vestibule.  It is now old and well used as you can see.

Seat cover 

close up of material

I used the same colours as the pattern in Vav Magasinet as it fitted perfectly with the existing paintwork and the rug I had woven.

Looking at the old cover for this blog made me realise that the foam covering for the seat has become rather soft.  I think that I will have weave another length of this material and re-cover the seat.

Happy Weaving

Susan J Foulkes      June 2016