Well, I finished the first 2 feet of weaving, plus an extra 12″ or so of throwaway fabric from before I got the tension straightened out. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.
The first thing I realized is that the picks per inch were significantly greater on the first sample than on the actual cloth. I haven’t measured it, but eyeballing the pattern it looks like the second sample is only about 80% as many picks per inch, which is to say that 5 repeats of the first sample = 4 repeats of the second sample. This elongates the pattern and makes it not nearly as pretty in my opinion.
This is, in retrospect, predictable. My first sample was only about 4″ across. I had read somewhere that you should always make a sample the same width as the finished piece, because it is easier to beat in weft on a small sample and so the pattern will be compressed vertically in the sample. I just hadn’t paid attention to this, because it’s never been an issue before.
The second thing I’m mulling over is the sett. At 96 ends per inch, the warp tends to stick; I’m having to beat twice in order to get clear sheds. I’m also getting a little under 50 picks per inch, which (together with Peg’s comment) suggests that I have the sett waaaay too dense for a balanced weave. While a balanced weave is not necessarily what I want (having slightly more ends than picks per inch makes for better drape), that’s a pretty unbalanced weave.
A back of the envelope calculation, and my experience with the advancing twill hearts, suggests that for something based on a 3/1 twill, a sett of 65-ish might be more appropriate. Even dropping down to 80 should help.
That said, I’ve beamed on at 96 epi and am using the full width of the warp beam. If I resley at a wider sett, I’ll have to drop off some of the sections on the edges, which is not a huge issue, but I’ll also wind up with the warp edges expanding and then contracting between the back beam, the reed, and the fell, which puts extra strain on the warp threads. I worry about them breaking; I worry about uneven tension.
I also don’t really dislike the finished sample; it’s just that the other one looks better in my opinion. So I am torn between two options:
- Resley at a wider sett, dropping the extra ends off at either side; risk straining the outer warp threads; waste the two feet of good fabric I’ve woven so far; no guarantee that I’ll like the fabric any better after resleying.
- Keep going as I’m going, but wind up with a fabric I don’t like quite as much as the sample.
I really don’t have an answer for this now, so I’m going to meditate on it some more. I may just keep weaving.
Here is a photo of the two samples:
Meanwhile, Weavolution is cranking along. Our URL for the alpha got leaked on Ravelry, which wasn’t what I had intended but which is getting us more alpha users, so it’s a mixed blessing. I’m currently in the midst of a lot of frenzied, last-minute work prepping for the launch – was evading it earlier this afternoon by weaving instead, but now I’ve got to get back to it. I’m not having any “what if we throw a party and nobody comes” jitters – I’m certain people will come – I’m terrified we won’t be ready for it. Launch is currently scheduled for June 8, and that’s just ONE WEEK AWAY!!!
Not much time at all. But we’ll get there, I’m sure. I keep telling myself it’s just pre-launch jitters.
Back to work!
Sandra Rude says
How about using a finer weft, which would beat in more?
Could you drop off the excess warp every 2 inches as you re-sley rather than leaving it all at the ends? It might be a little harder to keep the dropped ends out of the warp that is in use, but it would solve the problem of having to spread the narrower warp to the weaving width at the reed.
Peg in South Carolina says
Rosey’s suggestion is most ingenious! I was going to tell you that silk is very very strong and using a temple would also help. A temple also helps to get more picks in than you otherwise could (selvedge threads get spread out which is what you need to happen to sneak those extra picks in). I know about drape and slightly warp dominant fabric but silk, especially 60/2 silk, drapes beautifully, especially have really hard pressing, which makes it very thin and drapey. Finally, this statement you made does not sound like you at all (grin!):
“Keep going as I’m going, but wind up with a fabric I don’t like quite as much as the sample.”
I’d try the temple and finer weft idea first, then resley if you still aren’t happy according to Rosey’s suggestion.
I hear some folks say they never read the comments on blogs, but that’s where you can find the gems, I think!
(Today there were three!)
I’d go for the finer weft, then re-sley using Rosey’s suggestion (it was my first thought, too). There is 120/2 silk available which might just do the trick. Lillian Whipple might be able to suggest a source.