Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sampling on the Loom

Well, the warp is on the loom and I wove enough to cut off for a sample. To the left is a picture of the warp on the loom. The camera distorts the fabric a bit but you can see the weave structure here. Beating the weft in has been a bit of a challenge. That is, it is a challenge to keep the beat nice and even. The weight of the beater alone packs the weft in too much. I have to control the beater very carefully to "waft" it in. That said, it is a pleasure to weave.
I have mentioned Weavecast on my blog before. I was listening to Episode 26: Sew Your Weaving with Daryl Lancaster when I heard her describe how she processes her samples. It made sense to me so I did the same thing. She cuts the samples into three pieces and sets aside one as the unwashed sample straight off the loom. The second sample she lightly washes and the third sample she tosses in the washer and dryer. This gives a good look at both ends of the spectrum. I did exactly that as the following pictures show.
The above picture shows sample 1 on the left. This is straight off the loom. As the threads relax off the loom you can start to see the texture of the weave. The sample on the right has been gently patted in soapy lukewarm water, rinsed the same way, and then rolled in a towel and air dried.
The picture on the left shows sample 2, the lightly washed one next to sample 3 the heavily processed one. Sample three is extremely fulled but if you hold it up to the light, you can still see the wonderful weave structure.
Now, what do you do with all this info? I sampled to determine the correct sett for the final fabric. I originally wanted to weave a fabric for a light jacket. The 30 epi sett would be a little too wide so I would go down to 26 epi (and sample again) for a slightly denser fabric. However, one of the aspects of weaving that I love is the journey. I loved the look of the lightly washed sample. It is a light and warm fabric with a lovely drape and texture. So, I am going to keep the warp sett at 30 epi. I will full it just a bit more than sample 2 but not to the extreme of sample 3. I am not sure what I will do with the fabric but I will let it tell me what it wants to be used for.
So now I will just continue to weave at 30 epi. I will post about the finished fabric when it is off the loom and processed.
In the meantime, we continue to fine tune and maintain the house in between watching the Olympics. So far we have had no lookers for the house. Perhaps they are enjoying summer.
Tomorrow I will host the spinning group from the Skagit Weavers Guild at our house. It will be wonderful to catch up with friends.
Hope summer is going well for everyone out there! -Renee


Peg in South Carolina said...

I am so used to beating my fine silk hard that I have a great deal of trouble getting an even beat with softer beating of such things as wool. It looks like you have done a spectacular job with the beating. I listened to that WeaveCast episode also and was delighted to see your test swatches and how useful they were in your decision as to how to continue.

dana said...

What a beautiful texture your fabric has! I'm sorry to hear that your house has no lookers. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Anonymous said...

Renee - I ran across your web site. Been a lot of years! You've come a long way since Humboldt!

Tina Rogers

btw - sent an email to Janice from the guild. She has my e-mail if you want to get in touch with me.