Thursday, December 18, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


I have washed and pressed the towels. And measured them. There was no shrinkage across the width. But there was 5” shrinkage along the length. That is between 10% and 15%—quite within the normal expected range. I do not know if my pressing technique had an effect here. Instead of moving the iron lengthwise along the towels, a moved it width wise across the towels. There will be another washing before I am done and that time, if I remember, I will iron them lengthwise.

The major visible effect of this lengthwise shrinkage has been the conversion of the squares to rectangles! Now I understand clearly why one needs to wash samples……..


But, even though there was no shrinkage widthwise, there was a bit of rearrangement going on. Now the outside “squares” are only 1/4” narrower than the rest of the squares. Before washing, they had been 3/8” narrower.

Reed marks in washed towelTHIRD SUPRISE: REED MARKS

Another surprise was that the reed marks still show. Not as much as they did before I washed them, but they still show. The black arrows point only to some of them. You may have to click on the photo to blow it up to really see them. Also, sitting back from the computer screen helps them become more visible.


Yet another surprise: a second treadling treadling error. Of course, this treadling error did not occur in the same towel the other one did. Actually this same error occurs twice, with only a few rows Treadling error 2 side 2 Treadling error2 side 1in between.

This treadling error was a bit difficult to figure out. On one side it appears as green weft floats; on the other side as white warp floats. The only thing I can figure out is that my foot may have accidentally caught a neighboring treadle.


Still one more surprise, and on this very same towel. When I washed the towels I wondered where the mishmash of blue threads had come from when I removed the towels from the washing machine. Today I found out. When I went to press up the hems prior to sewing them, I saw that I had never zigzagged this edge! This failure did not result in total disaster, however. Only in a narrow him.


I had intended originally to keep one of the towels for myself. Now I know which one. This blue and green one with the treadling error and one narrow hem.

"Finishing the Towels Continues with Some Surprises" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on December 18, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Carol said...

I want to tell you how much I appreciate all the info in your posts. I am a beginning weaver - only a half doz finished projects-living in rural OK and don't have access to classes to learn what I am learning from you.
What are you weaving on? Specifics may have been in earlier posts - I only just found your blog a couple of weeks ago.
I built my own loom - solid oak, 45", 4-treadle. After the holidays I'll try to post a pic.
Thanks much for all the useful info.

SpinningLizzy said...

Very informative post, Peg! As to the reed marks -- does the reed have visible imperfections that correspond to the marks? One of my reeds has a few inches of dents that are slightly bowed, and I'm wondering if that will affect my weaving. (Only one way to find that out, I suppose!)

I can't wait to find out what you discover after another wash whether or not ironing makes a difference to shrinkage.

Geodyne said...

The reed marks are visible, even in the smaller image. I wonder if it's something to do with the 'grabbing' power of the cotton, because you don't see that as much in your silk samples.

I also wonder whether they'd come out more with another wash?

Congratulations on some beautiful towels, anyway - the twill is beautifull even.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Carol, I'm glad you find my posts useful. I weave on a 45" Nilus II with rear-hinged treadles with 8 shafts, made by LeClerc. The loom I learned on was a Nilus counterbalance loom by LeClerc. I look forward to seeing a picture of your loom. I admire your having the ability and skills to do that!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Elizabeth, glad you found the post informative. No, the reed is just fine. I would worry if there was any bowing.
Geodyne, yes, I think it is the fiber because I don't remember ever having reed marks before on anything I have woven. I will see if they wash out in this next wash. I suspect eventually that they will wash out. As I discovered with my first towels they continued to shrink and shrink and shrink.........! That is why I made Amy's towels so large.

Leigh said...

Very interesting post. I need to heed your advice and do more washing of my samples. Sometimes I weave samples, but don't always follow through with the finishing part. Still, this is one of the reasons why weaving is never dull and boring. I really do like your towels.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Leigh, as you know, I don't always follow my own advice (grin!) and I didn't for these towels---you have guilted me into writing a post about this......and I thought I was done for Christmas........