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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Hemstitching Question

In a comment on the previous post, Diana asked, "Do you hemstitch on the loom to hold the weft in place before you fringe twist or is the waste weft enough to hold it?"

I almost never hemstitch. For silk or tencel scarves, I find that four picks of waste yarn (in my case, this is leftovers of fine cotton from other projects, usually tea towels) holds things in place until I ply the fringe.

When I ply, I pick out those four picks for an inch or so, measure or count bouts of fringe, and twist. Then I pick out the waste yarn for another inch or so, etc. I start from both selvedges, working my way gradually to the center. If I have to fudge one or two bouts because they didn't come out exactly even, I'll do that in the middle, where somehow it is less visible than it would be at the selvedges.

For wool scarves, I don't make a plied fringe - just a plain, straight fringe. In addition to the 4 picks of waste yarn at the fell, I weave a fairly wide band of waste yarn between the fringe allowances for adjacent scarves. I cut in the middle of that band, machine stitch across the band, and do the wet finishing. After the scarf is dry, I pick out the waste yarn at the fell, and trim the fringe with a rotary cutter just above the wide band of waste yarn. When I weave with wool, the style of design I weave needs a really thorough fulling, and I find that this treatment is enough to keep the cloth from raveling.

P.S. to Connie: The Conair device is sold as a hair twister, and the packaging suggests the pre-teen age bracket. Conair calls it a "hair braider" but what it does is ply, not braid. Whatever you call it, the action of the twister is exactly the same as you would do by hand when plying a fringe. Twist two bouts separately in one direction (S twist) then twist the two together the other direction (Z twist). It's a terrific tool for anybody with arthritis in their hands!

1 comment:

Connie Rose said...

Very cool. Conair should realize they have another audience for the product!