Posted by Peg in South Carolina
Many weavers seem to dislike the warping, threading, sleying, all the activities that go into getting the warp on the loom and ready to weave. I enjoy those activities. What I dislike is doing the finishing. When I cut a piece off the loom my mind tells me I am done and shuts down. I am ready to get on to the next piece. I have to use every trick in the book to get me to continue with the finishing.
I have used the sewing machine to zigzag the edges of the towels to keep them from fraying. I have cut the towels apart. I now have what almost seems like a pile of towels. But they feel coarse. They look a bit like window screening. There is more work to be done before they morph into towels.
I need to get rid of all the weft yarns thrown in between each towel. I need to trim any threads not trimmed at the time of weaving. I need to check each towel for errors.
I did check for errors. The first error I spotted was a treadling error: I threw two consecutive shots in the same shed. It is at the hem border—the (more or less…) horizontal line of cream at the bottom shows two wefts each in the correct shed. But then, at the top of that line is an apparent thicker shot in a third shed. Actually that apparently thicker shot is really two shots in the same shed.
I may keep this towel for myself. I had planned on keeping one or two for myself, but then I had also changed my mind. Or I may simply point out the error to Amy as a reminder that her mother is not perfect. Not that she needs reminding, mind you.
And in the course of trimming up, I saw the occasional notch in the selvedge where one or more weft threads had caught and pulled tight when I threw the shuttle across the warp. The one in the photo was particularly bad. The rest are not nearly so obvious. Clearly my pirn winding, though much improved over what it was when I first started weaving with end feed shuttles, still needs work. But my eyes still need to be more attentive as I weave so I can catch these problems while it is still reasonable to unweave and correct.
After I trimmed the towels up, I measured them. The first five towels were 25” wide. The last towel was 24 1/2” wide---narrower than the rest as expected. These were also the widths on the loom. That did not change. However, the width at the reed had been 27”, so that means there was either 2” or 2 1/2” of draw in, depending on which towel I am discussing. Roughly 10%, a figure that is in line with normal expectations. I expect more shrinkage widthwise after washing.
Measuring the length of each of them from edge to edge (which includes the hems), four of the towels measured 37” and two measured 38”. This, two I anticipated because I had gotten confused at some point whether I was measuring edge to edge or from the bottom of the towel to the other bottom of the towel, minus the hems. Next time I weave multiple items that I have to measure on the loom, I will attach a reminder to my little bulletin board on the castle. Right in front of my face………. Perhaps in red ink………..
WHAT REMAINS TO BE DONE
Now I need to wash, hang dry and press. Then sew the hems. For towels I use the sewing machine for this. Then I plan to wash them again and put them through the dryer this time, primarily to encourage more shrinkage, but also to soften them up a bit more.
I will not put them in the dryer the first time round because I have read that wrinkles will set in cotton if the fabric is not carefully pressed first. Once that initial press is over, the dryer will create no wrinkles. I do not know for sure whether or not this is true. I only know that that is how I finished dish towels I wove many years ago and there is never a wrinkle in them.
WHAT I’D RATHER BE DOING
I would so much rather be making the warp for my next piece…..
I would so much rather be working on the design for my next crackle piece…..