Posted by Peg in South Carolina
WHY I WOVE CLOSE TO THE BREAST BEAM
I now remember why I was weaving with the fell as close to the front beam as possible. Because the angle formed by the warp ends is not so extreme there, opening the sheds is easier on the warp. The closer you get to the beater, the more strength is required of the warp when the shed is opened, especially if you weave on a highly tensioned warp as I do. Silk, however, especially if tightly spun, is incredibly strong and will take the tension.
MOVING THE FABRIC AS YOU WEAVE
Wherever you decide to keep the fell when weaving, it is important to move the fabric every inch or two. Doing this keeps the fell in the same position throughout the weaving. In an earlier post I had mentioned Osterkamp’s discussion of how the ability of the beater to pack in the weft grows stronger as the fell approaches the front beam. If you want a consistent beat, then, it is important to keep the fell in the same or nearly the same position all the time you weave.
A BEGINNING WEAVER’S FEAR
When I was a new weaver I wove each small section for as long as I possibly could. I wove with the fell starting as close to the front beam as possible and continued weaving until I simply could not get the shuttle through a decent shed. Why? Ignorance for one thing! Fear for the other!
I did know what would happen if I didn’t maintain the same tension throughout; I did know that the beat was likely to change. I didn’t understand why. But I had seen baby blankets woven where even from a distance it was clear the beat had changed from beginning to end. No measuring and counting was necessary in order to see this. So I was afraid that I would not be able to get the same tension back after I moved the warp. Consequently I thought the less I had to move the warp, the less danger there was for this. Logical, huh?!