Woven Threads
Musings on Fiber

Textured Weave Experiments

September 25th 2011 in Experiments, On the Loom

I love knit cables. And at times I admit to a bit of jealousy — there are things which are fairly easy to do for knitters which are difficult if not nigh impossible for weavers. However weaving does tend to be rather faster than knitting (once the loom is warped!!!!), so I guess there are compensations.

Still, I’m wanting to try to figure out how to weave something akin to cables.  I figure if I can do that, then I don’t have to be quite so jealous of the knitters.

I’ve been experimenting with doubleweave variations on my little tapestry loom and the rigid heddle.  I’m not at the point where I can declare success, but I have some interesting results.

To my mind before I started looking at cabling in more detail, it struck me that I might be able to have a similar effect using leno weave.  I played with this a bit on the tapestry loom — it didn’t do quite what I’d hoped; I want to try this again, however – while it didn’t make “cables”, it still made some interesting patterns! Here is a picture of it “in progress” — you can see the leno weave:

I also tried something like a brocade, but woven as a top layer which has an irregular shape.  You can see some of that at the top of this photo (leno is in the bottom):

I think that this is more likely to be able to create “cables”.  I also have a Dover book of Celtic Designs which I want to play with as well.

Celtic charted designs
Celtic charted designs
Co Spinhoven; Dover Publications 1987
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Along a different vein, I thought  a doubleweave with a layer with hemstitching  might be interesting.  I warped my rigid heddle for 3 shafts, and shortly after was experimenting.  In this case, the 3rd shaft is used for 3rd and 4th in typical doubleweave — my section is so narrow I didn’t think going to the effort of warping a 4 shaft loom was worth it — the section which has 2 layers is merely 9 warp threads across.  For the experiment it is just as effective to weave it by hand.

I didn’t know how well a single layer of hemstitching would work, so I settled on hemstitching, 2 weft shots, then another set of hemstitching.  Between each hemstitched section, I place 10 shots of it joined together — shaft 1 raised, then shafts 2&3 raised.  It makes for an interesting design.

Here it is early in the process:

 I’m alternating hemstiched blocks in the warp colour and a cream; I’m not sure I like the cream that much, even though it brightens it up a good bit.

I think once this is washed, too, the patterns will show up a bit better.

Back to the loom!



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Currently on the loom I have a silk boa, inspired by a project inspired by Fashions from the Loom, by Betty Beard. It’s amazing how fast these warp and weave — with 2″ of warp and 2 floating selvages 8″ apart, my shuttle pretty much flies.  I expect to finish it tonight.  The one thing […]

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Weaving is an ancient craft practiced for thousands of years.  As time passed, knowledge and techniques were passed down from one weaver to another. Sometimes techniques were kept hidden from competition but more often weavers would share their knowledge. For a very long time weaving skills were transmitted by hand and mouth — it’s only been […]

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