Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Napkin Project Moving Along

On a happier note, the napkins, while not weaving themselves, are at least moving along fairly smoothly. Here's a shot of the current one on the loom:

I'm weaving 3 sets of 4 napkins each. Within each set, there will be 4 different weft colors and 4 different treadlings, a mix-n-not-quite-match sort of combination.

This is the first time I've woven cotton this fine. I've used finer silk for warp, but by comparison the silk is like iron - you can abuse it, treat it roughly, and it just smiles. The cotton is far weaker and I'm spending quite a lot of time repairing broken ends. Here's what the back of the loom looks like with replacement ends hanging off the rear:

Part of the problem at first was that because it's 3-color echo weave, it's a dense warp, which makes it hard to get a clean shed. The metal tips of the fly shuttle were a bit rough, and when the shuttle hit a thread caught in the middle of the shed, it would grab the thread and break it instead of just sliding under or over it. A little sand-paper fixed that.

Then, I had trouble with a tad too much draw-in, so the selvedge ends became worn and kept breaking. On went the temple, and the selvedges haven't given me any more trouble.

Now what's happening is that two of the colors of warp thread tend to just drift apart, not necessarily anywhere near the shuttle race. It's probably not quite as tightly twisted in the ply as the third (darker, mill-dyed) yarn. The weaker thread is the undyed yarn and the mid-tone yarn pictured in an earlier post about this project.

Oh well, I know how to swap out broken ends. And I'm getting lots more practice!


Maus said...

The napkin fabric looks gorgeous! The number of shafts on your loom intimidates me :)

Leigh said...

Geez. And I thought only novice weavers like myself had problems like this. I'm not sure if it's comforting to know that professional weavers also have these problems, or discouraging that I'll probably never stop experiencing it *lol*

I agree with Maus, the fabric is gorgeous.