More than Four Reporting In

by | Mar 15, 2015 | Uncategorized

The More Than Four Study Group is a weaving study group for  guild members who are interested in making the most out of multi-harness looms.  At the start of the year the group selects a study topic and for the rest of the year members research and weave samples related to that topic.  This year the group decided to concentrate on creating 3 dimensional surface effects.
We soon learned that there were a variety of surface effects that could be created by a hand weaver.  They could be subtle all over surface effects with raised yarns or dimples.  They could be strategically placed pleats or puckers or they could be wild waves and ruffles resulting from movement across the entire fabric.

The sea weed in the photographs illustrates some of the more dramatic surface effects that can be produced with the correct yarns, weaving structure and finishing techniques.  High energy yarns or yarns that have different shrinkage rates can be used to distort an otherwise flat grid.

The woven examples have warp stripes of materials with different shrinkage rates.  In both samples the wool stripes shrink more than the adjacent stripes creating a seer sucker effect.
The highly spun rayon singles in the example on the left kinks upon wet finishing in hot water and pulls in the edges to form pleats.
We learned that it was important to do samples when working with these techniques.  Differences in sett, materials and finishing can make dramatic differences in the overall size of the finished piece.

The off-white sample with the intense pleating is an example of woven shibori used with an acrylic yarn.  The shibori pull threads are used to create narrow pleats then the entire cloth is steamed to set the acrylic weft yarn.  After the pull threads are removed the fabric is highly elastic.  The lower edge forms a natural ruffle as there were no pull threads in that section.  The fabric is ideal for a narrow sleeve on a romantic top.

More subtle surface effects add textural interest as illustrated in this photograph of tree bark.  There are raised areas as well as irregularly coloured patches that resemble a collage

 There are a number of weave structures that are designed to create surface effects and while the choice of materials can alter how dramatic the effect is, these techniques do not rely heavily on special yarns or finishing techniques.  They are often enhanced by the use of colour or fancy yarns.

 Waffle weave creates dimples in the cloth that appear as small squares.  The surface is similar to that on a Belgian waffle.  The weave structure is characterized by skips in descending order in the warp and the weft.  It is highly absorbent and makes wonderful towels.  The take up will depend upon the size of the units in the waffle weave and it can be considerable.

Honeycomb is another weave structure that creates dimples in the cloth outlined with a heavier or fancy yarn.  In this case the skips are on the back of the cloth making it more suitable for upholstery or an item that will be lined.  Where a deeper colour has been used the dimples appear to be deeper.

The More Than Four group will continue with the exploration of 3 dimensional effects.  Sampling has been important to understanding this topic and each person’s experience, good or bad, has taught all of us a lesson.  The sampling has suggested some interesting applications for the techniques as clothing, accessories and house hold items.  

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Month

Posts by Category