Thursday, June 21, 2007

Weaving 4-Shaft Crackle

The tie-up is simple. Tie it up as a 2/2 twill. There should also be two treadles tied up for plain weave. Treadle 5 would tie up shafts 1 and 3. Treadle 6 would tie up shafts 2 and 4. I have not included them in the tie up or the treadling because not doing so gives a more accurate look of what the final cloth would look like. This, of course, assumes that the pattern weft is heavier than the warp yarn and that the tabby weft is the same as or smaller than the warp yarn. Assume, however, that in the actual weaving, tabby is actually woven between each pattern shot.

Of course, there is no hard and fast rule that the tabby weft cannot be the same size as the pattern weft, indeed, that it cannot be identical to the pattern weft, in which case we would have a one shuttle weave. But the tabby would show and cause the fabric to look quite different. This is not "bad." Just different. Can be good if it gives the effect you want.

In some of my latest samplings, I have been playing with warp, weft and tabby all being the same weight. Different colors, however, so for me it is still a multiple shuttle weave. More on that another day.

Here is a drawdown of the crackle, still treadled as overshot, but woven "tromp as writ." That simply means that you treadle the same as the threading. Since this particular threading repeats each unit 2 times, I have treadled each unit two times. The interesting thing about this treadling is it clearly shows how closely crackle is related to point twill.

So that is the basics of crackle. For more than 4 shafts, you just carry on with the same concepts.

However, here is a glimpse of one way of weaving a two-color crackle. I haven't included it in the draft, but the warp is black, and the weft shots alternate between the green and dark red. A 3-shuttle weave. To imagine more accurately what the final fabric actually looks like, look at the areas where the are wide bands of one color against narrow strips of the other color. In the final

fabric, these will pretty much smoosh together (very technical term.......) and yield a block which pretty much is only the one color. In the top left corner, for example, the effect will be of an all green block.

Then look at the upper right hand corner. That is clearly plain weave and you know what plain weave looks like. The black, red, and green, will all be fairly equal, though the red and green will dominate a bit (but equally) because the yarns are heavier than the warp yarns.

Then look at the top quarter under the 4,3,4,1 threading. There the red and green will pretty much obscure the warp but create a block which is basically red and green.

There are other ways of treadling and other ways of weaving with two or more colors, but that is for another day. However, for those who are eager right now to learn a lot more, Bonnie Datta has just published her website. On her website are links to two documents she has written. One is how to weave a 4-block crackle sampler. And the other is how to get 24 blocks with crackle threading on 4 shafts. To get that many blocks, she pushes the crackle threading really beyond its limits, but it is a fascinating read.

Here is the link to Bonnie's pages:


Leigh said...

This looks too good to pass up. I am going to have to try this as soon as I get a loom available!

Amity said...

I'm trying to learn about mixing colors in crackle without buying a drafting program or weaving dozens of samples... found Bonnie Datta first, then you. Getting lots of tantalizing clues from both of you. Thank you for sharing your discoveries!