I got a 6-yard warp off the loom today. It was a mix of 10/2 hemp in natural and white with a end of 10/2 linen every 8th thread. It was threaded in an 8-shaft straight draw, and I ended up with three towels and a collapse shawl/scarf. I am pretty happy, but there are a few interesting things about the experiment I would like to share
One is the hemp is truly a dream to wind, warp and weave. It is glossy, strong and has a linen-y hand that I really love.
I started with a waffle weave towel with double weave hems (again – a la Alice Schlein through dear Ute Bargmann) I used a 10/2 hemp as weft and zoomed through with a no-surprises result. As you can see from the pic – the tie-on cords really impacted the fabric right off the loom. I covered the cords as I usually do with paper towel tubes sliced lengthwise. I suppose the tension on the warp and the length really allowed the cords to imprint. It all came out in the wash though. I do love waffle.
The second towel was a variation on a collapse 3/1, 1/3 twill, with the blocks switching at intervals. I used a 40/2 linen as weft and the double weave hem technique for this because even though the ribs were broken, I didn’t know whether there would be a lot of collapse or not.
My third towel was a very simple double weave with layer exchange every two inches. I used the 40/2 linen weft, and it took a long time to weave because of the two layers.
I then wove the rest of the warp in a simple collapse weave using the 40/2 linen weft because I wanted I ruched up linen-y scarf for my fall “wardrobe.”
I was a little worried about getting enough length for the scarf because it is 24″ wide, and I wanted something proportional (even with the collapse). So, I followed the lead of the inimitable Ute, and bought an end-of-warp shuttle from The Woolery. These little cuties are hand-made by Jim Hockett, and work like a dream to weave off those last few inches of narrow shed.
My only criticism is that they are so little and light it was hard to throw across the whole width of the warp. Otherwise – great. Check out how little loom waste . . . almost all fringe.
And speaking of fringe . . . check out the ringlets. I haven’t decided how to finish yet.
Now, the question. On flickr, Milkweed Seed commented on the smoothness of this warp. I laughed when I got it out of the dryer and saw the smoothness transformed.I love it. I really want to reweave it for a coat fabric. It made me revisit all the things I had been thinking about aging and clothes and aging in general and the wonderful joys of both the smooth AND the wrinkled:) Despite the philosophizing I ironed the extreme wrinkles out. Maybe I am simulating the 50ish state of definitely not smooth, but gently wrinkled.