Sunday, February 15, 2015

Basketweave Selvedges

I use basket selvedges on almost everything (except plain weave cloth). I just plain don't like floating selvedges - too much manual manipulation to let me weave fast. With some design considerations kept in mind, basket makes a nice clean edge on fancy structures that otherwise would be difficult to achieve. But it does require 4 extra shafts (2 on each side of the cloth), in almost all cases.

In a comment on the previous post, Charlene asked to see the selvedge, so here's a description of my method and a photo of the selvedge on that last towel.

First of all, the selvedge has 5 threads (or some other odd number) on each side. Here's a closeup of the draft of that last towel, with WeaveIt set to show interlacement:

That extra single thread at the interface between the body of the cloth and the selvedge is very important: it helps to "cut" any floats that might tend to occur at that interface when you're working with a fancy twill or satin design. It might not catch all of 'em, but does get most. And for my purposes, with fine threads, most is good enough.

Also, it's important to note that the shuttle has to begin on the side of the cloth where the full basket occurs, not the side with the half basket at the top. If you don't start the shuttle on the correct side, the weft won't interlace with the outermost selvedge threads.

Look closely at the draft, and visualize the shuttle traveling through the first shed. If the outer threads don't change state (that is, from up to down, or vice versa), then when the shuttle comes out of the first shed on the LEFT side and goes back in to the second shed, the weft won't be caught on the outer edge.  So in your mind's eye, continue following the shuttle as it exits the second shed - on the RIGHT selvedge - where yes, in fact, the selvedge threads change state between the second shed and the third. And so on.

Here's what the selvedge looks like on the loom:

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Pat said...

Thank you for this write up. I have wondered about using this technique but, if I do use an edging, use tabby. In theory, one should change the sett with tabby but in practise the edging is too narrow to bother. I have never noticed any problem. But perhaps you can tell us why you use this in preference to any other edging technique?

Ruth said...

Thanks for this, Sandra. Now that I no longer use a fly shuttle, I don't mind floating selvages, EXCEPT for the problem of the thread on the right side gradually losing its twist & breaking. I'll try your basket weave selvages on my next towel warp.

Sandra Rude said...

Hi, Pat, I mostly weave twills and satins, and the basket selvedge takes up at approximately the same rate, whereas plainweave can make the edge wave, because the structure takes up less than the body of the cloth. I even use a basket selvedge on multi-shuttle weaves on the jacquard, by simply elongating the basket vertically to account for the fact that multiple wefts make up each pass. The takeup is fine even on those complex, multishuttle structures.

Peg Cherre said...

So, Sandra, you used a different (whiter) warp for the selvedge, yes? Or is that difference in appearance for some other reason?

Tobie said...

Hi Sandra,
I have a 10H loom and I've tried doing a tabby selvedge on 8H twill weaves. I've had a problem with the edges not packing at the same rate. I'll try basket edges next to see if that helps.
Thanks for the tip.

Sandra Rude said...

Hi, Peg, the warp is all the same yarn. If it looks different, perhaps it's because a different structure reflects the light back at a different rate...