Thursday, January 15, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Sanoke weaving 4th attemptSampling continues.  Here my selvedges have improved considerably because I reduced the weft tension in my Bluster Bay shuttle (photo to the right) so that the shuttle went over only one Bluster Bay Shuttle hook instead of two.  For some perspective on this, when I weave with fine silk, I thread the weft yarn over four hooks.

One problem does occur, however, when the overshots occur over the selvedge edge of a sample, even with floating selvedges. It’s not all that clear in the photo, but there is really excessive looseness of the weft at the selvedges. This happens in the top sample, the sample treadled with light gray weft.

The best solution for that seems to be to have a bit of plain weave threaded at the selvedges.  It won’t be true plain weave because of the doubled warp ends.  But it will be close enough to control better what could be very messy selvedges.

Or alternatively, I could take advantage of the fact that I have four empty shafts (grin!) and thread those to genuine plain weave.  I  have not yet tried this with my 8-shaft loom.  Indeed, being able to do that is one reason I justified the purchase of an 8-shaft loom.  So perhaps the time is come.

Sample Weaving 5th attempt

Again, the selvedges have improved greatly with the change in threading the shuttle hooks. But the messy selvedge issue is clear on the bottom sample of this next photo as well, though not as bad as in the first photo.

Also, the samples at the bottom and top are, despite their have been beaten just as softly as the rest, definitely weft-dominant.  The middle fabric is less so.

One thing I am learning is that I rarely like blue warp with light gray weft.  But I like the reverse.  This might suggest that I would like a red warp with dark green weft.  In at least some of the samples, that would create an effect of over-all dark green with red peeking through.  At least that is what I am currently guessing.

Related Post:  Weaving with Multiple Shuttles

"More Canvas Weave" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 15, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Janet said...

I also use Bluster Bay end feeds and have mentally numbered the hooks on my shuttle as 1-2-3 across the top and 4-5-6 across the bottom. I "read" the hooks from orifice to pirn, which now that I think about it is actually the reverse of the way the yarn travels.

So, for instance, when weaving place mats with 8/8 cotton weft, I use 1-5-3 or, if I need more tension, 1-2-5-3. When doing 2 ply wool blankets, I usually use 2-3 or 1-2-3 (meaning that I hook the yarn around 1 and 3 and just duck it under 2 but don't actually hook around 5). In my lexicon, the way your shuttle is tensioned in the picture is simply 3. I've found that I almost always end with 3 (which is to say, 3 is the first hook the yarn goes around when it leaves the pirn), since neither of my BB shuttles seem to feed as smoothly if the yarn coming off the pirn heads somewhere else first.

For my current project, which like yours wants to draw in a LOT and beat in way too much (because it's not really set closely enough - my bad), my tension is 1-3, i.e. just all the way across the top row - probably about as much tension as you're getting from just 3.

Dorothy said...

I'm enjoying the photos of this sample weaving, I find the texture looks very attractive in those colours with their soft contrast.

I was interested also to see the close up of your Bluster Bay shuttle, having looked at the costs I think admiring your photo is the closest I shall get to one, I can't go on collecting shuttles!

I expect a plain weave selvedge would be good. You could add one now... I added floating selvedges to a project by sewing them into the cloth at the front and weighting the warp ends behind the loom.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Janet, you blow my mind! Anyway, I had been using your 6-3 which was too much tension. 3 without the 6 gives me just the right amount. As for the wide setting of your twill, use it as an excuse to full the fabric a bit more than you might have otherwise. This could result in a softer fabric than your original plans.
Dorothy, I'm not going to worry about adding the plain weave selvedge know. I could still do it and then tie up the treadles again. Not worth it. One thing I noticed when I looked at the picture of the shuttle---how dusty it is on the inside! Did that ever surprise me!