Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Orange is the New ..... (Fill in the Blank)

  It has been a while. I only have some sampling warp left with Project Naranja. My warp is the beautiful high quality 26/2s wool from WEBS. It is a mill end or close out and I'll never see this yarn again. So I bought every color of orange and some pale pinks. I originally bought this yarn for the Civil War horse blanket project. That didn't work out for blanket weight (despite the original 1860's specification) but the same yarn, different colors, made a soft wonderful cloth when woven as a 2/2 twill. I set up my small loom to do doubleweave in blocks. I wove out a shawl length using various colors of the same wool as weft. What I got after wet finishing and lots of fabric softener and a vinegar rinse had the feel of a brillo pad. Not wearable next to the skin. I passed out my "shawl" to be examined by the seasoned handweavers at the Weaver's Barn and the consensus was that the weave structure was causing the unpleasant texture. As my loom was threaded for blocks I decided to improve the texture with what would work for the colors. I wove a second shawl length with a zippy coral noil silk singles. That made for a comfortable cloth. For all the problems I had with the hand of the cloth the yarn was very easy to weave. Doubleweave is an amazing weave structure. With how I was weaving it I got some wonderful puffy blocks and this got me thinking about what I want to do on my big loom.

  My big loom has two beams. Seersucker has been on my mind to do for a long time. I don't mean what people commonly think of it, crisp summerweight barbershop quartet suits in creamsickle colors, gaackkk !!! I want to make cloth for clothing that is already aesthetically wrinkled. So now the big loom has a combo of tencel and cotton on my sectional beam. I am part way with measuring the "stripes" for the plain beam which is a slightly thinner cotton. Many weavers never use their second beam even when they have one. I have routinely done two beam weaving on my smaller loom. Fortunately with the AVL you can set the tension differently on each beam and it will stay adjusted for the whole warp. This is not easy to do on looms with brakes and tension systems that require adjustment on both beams after the warp is advanced.


  1. I will be interested to see your seersucker. I wondered how you would handle the tension until I reached "AVL". It's good to be a modern weaver.

  2. Hi Joanne,
    I am putting on a bit more than 10 yards and that is my breakpoint. After that one of my warps gets significantly tighter and using one beam does not work. Depending on your loom you can change your loom to use elastic tensioning. My friend Laura Fry has modified her LeClerc (I think that is the loom) with weights. Unless you are weaving rugs an elastic tensioning system is worth investigating even if you do not do seersucker. Also ... just using about the same weight yarns but different types of yarn can give you a seersucker effect. Nobody said you can't do it weft-wise as well.