Thursday, July 10, 2008


USE BOTH 16/2 and 8/2

Susan of Thrums got me back to thinking about my decision to use 8/2 unmercerized cotton instead of 16/2.  On my last post, she commented that on her last set of towels she tried 8/2 for the warp but 16/2 for the weft.  This combination, she said, "...gave me the best of both. Absorbent but not overly thick."

I have thought about playing with fine weft on a heavier warp for crackle, but that is not what I want to do with these towels.  Since I want the colors formed by the weft yarns to predominate, I would want 16/2 as the warp and 8/2 as the weft. 


This use of a heavier pattern weft is traditional for crackle.  I have not been doing this in my crackle exploits because I am interested in the interplay of warp and weft. With these towels, however, I am more interested in the weft colors than in the warp.  The warp will simply be the background on which to hang the design. That means i would use the 16/2 for the warp and the 8/2 for the weft.


The configuration raises a question about sett. The sett I would use for 8/2 warp would be 24 epi.  The sett I would use for 16/2 warp would be 36 epi.  Knowing that I will be using 8/2 for the weft, should I still sett eh 16/2 at 36 epi?  Or should I sett it just a bit wider to allow for the extra size of the weft?  Setting the warp a bit wider would allow the weft to pack closer together, but would that make for a less sturdy fabric?  Or a less flexible fabric?

Related Post: 8 Crackle Blocks on 4 Shafts:  Sett

© 2008


Susan said...

Hi Peg!
I'm glad you found my comments :)
In my last towel warp, the colours were in the warp and by using a finer weft, the emphasis was on the warp. That and the fact my weft was black really showed off the colour!
For your crackle project reversing the yarn order would be the way to go. I use 30 epi for plain weave with 16/2 and 36 epi for twills. Perhaps try something in the middle like 32 epi? Sample and resley up or down according to your tastes?

You may have heard of a masterweaver Laura Fry up here in Canada ( Her favourite towel project is to use 16/2 as warp and cottolin which is 22/2 as weft. I have yet to try it myself but do have her book with samples and this is included. I could check the sett for you if you like?

...back to my painting; rather be weaving!

Dorothy said...

Hi Peg, this is a little beyond my experience, but these are my thoughts:

The sample blanket I have just woven was much more open sett than I have been used to recently, and it struck me that the resulting fabric seems more soft and flexible.

How about allowing extra warp to do samples at 2 or 3 different setts, just long enough to be able to usefully test?

Peg in South Carolina said...

Susan, I might try the 32 epi, but that would mean an 8-dent reed, 4 ends to the dent with a potential for reed marks. 36 epi means a 12-dent reed with 3 ends per inch. As you can see, I do not like uneven denting and my preferred is 2 ends per dent, often not possible. You are doing a lot of painting, aren't you?!
Dorothy, for dishtowels I am also after sturdiness. And the way they will be washed, no matter what the sett, they will probably (not so) eventually shrink to the size they want to be.

Jane said...

Good morning, Miss Peg.

I'm voting for trusting your instincts and experience. Do the math, certainly, and then sit back and get in touch with your 'inner weaver.' :)

Your brain has absorbed so much information over the years, and will do those complex computations for you (often what we call intuition is really our brain's incredible ability to data process) and you will know what's right when it feels right to you.

What about using some 10/2 cotton? Sort of like splitting the difference between the 8/2 and the 16/2?

You're an excellent weaver and I know that these towels will be wonderfully excecuted and cherished by their recipient no matter which way you go.

I, in any case, can't wait to see them.

Weave on!


Peg in South Carolina said...

Hi Jane---my "inner weaver"?!?! YEs, I am laughing! Of course you are right, you are talking about intuition and how intuition is developed. 10/2 unmercerized is hard to come by. I do know a source, but the supply is limited. In any case, the current warp is far from done so I have quite a bit of time to continue in turmoil over the towels.....!

Susan said...

Hi again,
Yes, it's a lot of painting! That's what you get for buying a 'fixer-upper' :) I have a set space in mind to make over this year and then the rest will wait until another time. But knowing my nature, I will take another shot this fall and get one more room done. I really need a harmonius place to 'be' and then weaving will flow.

You are quite right to consider the denting and I'm sure that would have occured to me in time as well. Rtaher than buying more stash at weaver's sales, I keep an eye for extra reeds so that I can do unusual denting.

Bye for now.. Susan

Leigh said...

My summer & winter dishtowels were 8/2 for warp and tabby weft; 5 or 6/2 for pattern weft. They are a bit thick, but that's all a matter of personal preference. In regards to sett, I agree with Jane. After all, your instincts are based on a lot of good experience.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Leigh, thanks for seconding Jane about instincts. I do try to listen to them because I have gotten into trouble when I haven not.