Thursday, January 8, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Leigh has gone and done it.  She has made me feel so guilty that I had to write yet another post about these towels…….just when everybody thought it was safe to come back to my blog!

Leigh made the following comment, which was the source of my guilt:  

        I need to heed your advice and do more washing
my samples.

OK, I never wove any samples for these towels so of course I did not wash any samples either.  These towels, after all, were not meant to be perfect, were not meant to be shown to the public, were not meant to be submitted to any show, not meant to display my amazing skill (irony here!) as a weaver.  These towels were meant to be useful (primary) and attractive (secondary).

Also I had woven towels years ago using the same yarn, though that, I realize, is probably not the best excuse.  Still, I did know something about sett and shrinkage rates.  Besides, there is some flexibility in the size of a dish towel.

I was trying for squares when I wove, but I knew it wouldn’t bother me or affect the usefulness or attractiveness of the cloth if they turned out not to be square.When I saw that the outer squares were a bit narrower than the rest of the squares I must confess that I did wish that I had sampled and washed. But when the squares turned into rectangles after all, I didn’t mind so much.

In truth, I did a bit of sampling at the beginning.  This was to test the beat.  I learned that I had to beat quite hard and still could not get the ppi to equal the wpi.  Thus I could not get the perfect 90-degree angle in the twill. If I had needed to be exact about this, I would have resleyed to a slightly wider sett. 

If I had felt that resleying would  have had a positive effect on the hand of the cloth or on its absorbent properties, I would have resleyed. Testing the effect of the hand of the cloth would have required washing the samples…….  I did not believe this kind of testing was called for. 

"Guilt and Samples" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 08, 2009. © 2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

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