Monday, August 3, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

End of warp sampling blue and red tabbies

There are two differences between the sampling at the bottom of the photo and the sampling at the top.

1. The order of the pattern blocks is different

2. Instead of the red-orange 120/2 binders in the bottom sampling, I have alternated that red-orange with turquoise 120/2 for the binder shots in the top sample.

It is the second change that makes the most astounding difference between the two samples.

I cannot fathom, however, why the turquoise binder shots look navy blue rather Turquoise binder weft than turquoise. The photo to the left shows the color of the turquoise silk. If I get my nose right up to the fabric, those shots do begin to look turquoise, but they still appear much darker than the yarn appears on the bobbin.

I am taking part in a very small email discussion group on a color phenomenon called simultaneous contrast. This happens when you look at something such as a very strong turquoise for say 15 seconds. Then you look at a white space next to it and you see its complement---red-orange.

In practice, this concept rarely exists in a vacuum which makes talking about it extraordinarily difficult.

I normally feel very much at ease with color—choosing colors, using colors. But reading about simultaneous contrast and listening to what others have to say about it has greatly heightened my awareness of how colors affect one another. And it has made me aware of how little of this is intuitive for me. Taking part in this group and then seeing something like this happen in my own weaving that I cannot explain is making me realize that I need to be thinking more about color and not just relying on my own intuition.


An apology. I have been referring to the non-pattern shots as tabby shots. That is really incorrect terminology for this structure has no tabby and so no tabby shots are possible. What these really need to be called are binders or binder threads. Their function, however, is the same as the tabbies in structures such as overshot and Summer & Winter: they create a stable fabric. I knew I was using an incorrect term but for neither love nor money could I come up with the right one. Now I have it.


None of this is particularly lovely as it stands. Where the value lies is in the possibilities of doing this kind of thing but with other colors. Using, for example, several grays and browns in this fashion could produce an interesting surface to lay pattern wefts such as lime greens on, but the background surface would be much more subtle than is the case here.


What appear as blues and reds in the weft shots separating the two samplings and in the weft shots ending the last sampling are simply throws, in straight twill order, of the 120/2 binder wefts with no pattern weft. In the bit separating the two samples, I have alternated 1x1 red-orange and blue green, beginning first with the one and then with the other. In the final treadling, I have changed colors at will.

Related Post: Treadled as Overshot

Last Sampling: More Overshot Treadling” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 3, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


Cally said...

Oh I really like the effect of the turquoise weft. What a fascinating interplay of colour.

Blossom Merz said...

I know exactly why it's happening, but can't explain it well in a comment. When you mix turquoise and magenta you get blue. When the magenta is tinted with yellow you get red. In perfect proportion, the three together make black...

So, your red and turquoise threads are interaction like dots in an inkjet print to give you dark blue, an imperfect version of black.

You know what? Color theory is a special skill I have leftover from my work in computer graphics. Maybe I need to write a blog post with an introduction for handweavers.

Delighted Hands said...

A perfect and wonderful example of the new article on WeaveZine about color-thanks for sharing with us!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Thank you, Cally.
Blossom, I'm not sure how you get blue from mixing turquoise and magenta. Unless the red in the magenta "corrects" the yellow leaning of the turquoise? But I do understand the imperfect black (i.e., dark blue) that results from the mixing of these colors. I think a blog post on color theory would be great.
Delighted Hands, you are welcome.

Blossom Merz said...

Hi, Peg.

Thanks for encouraging me to write the blog post on color theory. It's really enough information for a whole class, but I think I've gotten the major points across.

You can read it on my blog: