Friday, September 14, 2007

Weaving Software and Painted Warps

In a comment on my last post, Stef asked "I have a question for you: Which drafting software allows you to make the warp look as though it's painted?"

Most weaving software I have (or have played with) allows you to set the color of both warp threads and weft threads. As far as I know, none of 'em can make the warp threads change color from bottom to top, or make the weft threads change color on their way from selvedge to selvedge.

However, you can change color of individual warp threads across the warp, and you can change the color of the individual weft threads.

So, you can simulate a painted warp to some extent. The caveat is that in a painted warp the color doesn't change in a straight line - it's a feathered line in most cases - or at least, that's how my painted warps come out. However, changing thread color in weaving software is going to create straight-line changes, which can seem very abrupt if the software doesn't have a really complete color palette so you can change individual threads in a very gradual progression.

Since I depend on weaving for income and have to be efficient and productive, this seems like an awful lot of work on the computer. Quite honestly, I'd rather spend that time weaving, or dyeing thread for the next project. The latter is my task for this afternoon, to dye the silk for the water series scarves.

The two weaving programs I have are WeaveIt Pro and Fiberworks PCW. I'm more accustomed to WeaveIt, because it allows me to define colors from a very cool color picker - similar to a graphics application. Here's a screenshot of WeaveIt's color picker:

The little color chips in the lower left show what colors are available at the moment. You can add colors by moving the crosshairs around in the picker. The Current Color swatch in the lower right shows what the crosshairs have selected. You can use the vertical slider to make it darker or lighter. Once you've got a hue and value you like, click the Set Color button. The color in the Current Color swatch replaces the highlighted color chip (in this case, the one that's second from right in the upper row).

You can make a new palette and fill it with only the colors you want; I've done that for the Wood series scarves, so I didn't have to mouse through a lot of colors that aren't applicable to wood-grain designs when I wanted to switch warp or weft colors.

The main point is that if you have the time and patience, this tool allows you to create a group of colors that might help you emulate a painted warp.

If any of my readers has a better answer, or knows of any weaving software that will show the effect of a painted warp, please let me know and I'll post the information for everybody.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sandra, see

for a discussion of this, based on an article by Marg Coe in the Oct 2006 issue of Comples Weavers Journal, the one I cannot lay my hands on for the moment. Is this what you are talking about? Penny