Posted by Peg in South Carolina
But to understand how the tie-up went wrong, I need to explain that this is a shadow weave threading. For those of you familiar with shadow weave, I know that sample did not look anything like shadow weave. I will get to that later. Just accept that this is a shadow weave threading I am now working on.
I knew shadow weave was not a structure. It is a threading, not a structure. Its structure, I had thought, was plain weave. I looked at the tie up I had been using. It was the traditional 4-shaft twill tie-up of 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 1-4. What on earth was I thinking?! No way was I going to get plain weave with that tie up.
An aside. I’ve always had trouble understanding tie-ups. I have had it explained to me. I have heard lectures about designing in the tie-up. I just didn’t understand. Now, for the first time, I think I am just beginning to grasp the concept.
I looked at my source* for this threading and studied more carefully the tie-up. This is not as easy as it sounds. The book is not transparent. It requires work to figure out threading, tie-up and treadling. One could say it is written in its own kind of code. I looked at some of my other books, but there is precious little written on shadow weave so I was left with trying to work out the code. I had done so with the threading and the treadling. The tie-up was my Waterloo. All I knew was that a twill-tie up would not work. But neither would a plain weave tie-up.
After much frustration, I finally navigated the code. The tie-up was supposed to be 1-3, 2-4, 2-3, 1-4. Well, that helped a lot but it still didn’t make a total sense. How would this tie up yield plain weave on a shadow weave threading?
Something echoed in my head: shadow weave is BASED on plain weave………… That is very different from saying something IS plain weave. I was an English major…….once upon a time……..long ago. Finally I understood the tie-up. The first two tie-ups (1-3 and 2-4) do produce plain weave. I didn’t try it but I knew that just a plain weave tie-up would result in just as much of a mess as the standard twill tie-up did. Something more was still needed.
That something more is a tie-up that allows the weaver to treadle opposites: 2-3 and 1-4. The result is not plain weave but a structure very similar to plain weave except for its occasional short floats in warp and weft. And it is those floats which produce (when both warp and weft alternate colors) the shadow weave effect.
This photo of the fabric still on the loom shows what happens 1) at the bottom with the wrong tie-up and the resulting too-long overshots; and 2) at the top with the correct tie-up and plain weave with very short overshots.
More to come........
*My source is Marian Powell, 1000(+) Patterns in 4, 6, and 8-Harness Shadow Weaves. Yes, the book is written in its own kind of code. I have used it a couple of times before and each time I have tried to figure it out all over again, just as I had to this time. But it is an invaluable book. It has all those patterns, but it also has photos of all those patterns. Each threading, moreover, has many treadling possibilities, and the photos show that as well. So for anyone interested in shadow weave, I cannot recommend the book too highly.