Friday, November 27, 2015

Complex Weaving

Interesting textiles sometimes crop up in the most mundane circumstances. For example, these labels from a set of newly purchased towels.

DH (who has been well trained) looked at the labels and exclaimed "That must be double weave!"

He's right. On one layer, there's a logo in gold (a satin structure) on a white (also satin) ground. On the other layer, black text on a white ground (same satin, but mirror-image, that is, the slight diagonal running the opposite direction from the logo side).

Because I'm the investigative type, I wanted to find out more about how it was woven, so I slit one label open along the selvedge with scissors. The labels are going into the trash, so nothing lost...

Lo and behold, two completely different methods of placing a design on a ground.

On the logo layer, there is a white warp and a gold weft. On the face, the lion and its text are weft-faced, and the ground is warp-faced.

On the text layer, there is a white warp and an always-working white weft. The black weft is supplemental, and only weaves when it's needed for the lettering; otherwise, it's just floating merrily from selvedge to selvedge. (If you click to enlarge the first photo, you can see where the supplemental weft engages at the selvedge, very unobtrusively.) This method prevents the ground from looking grey, with a scattering of black pixels in amongst the white. Clever designer!

In any case, analyzing the process kept me entertained for a few minutes!


Alice said...

Interesting constructions! Would love to see the loom, wouldn't you?

Sandra Rude said...

I saw some antique versions of this type of loom in Lyons. Very small, because it's such a narrow warp, but they manage to pack a lot of heddles into a small space - the thread in these labels is *really* fine, and the wefts are a floss-type untwisted/unplied yarn, to get better coverage.