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Weaving Architecture: Step 1 of the Design Process: Part 2

Our featured scarf was woven with 8/2 cotton & 20/2 Bombyx Silk
from Season 2 Episode 6 – Designing Plaids
which eventually branched out and moved into stripes 🙂

Hey Kids,

In our last newsletter I told you a bit about an experience that changed my life and sent me running down many paths of exploration. Each path has provided me with the skills of testing, comparison, observation and have given me a lot self confidence around decisions I make. Many of these paths have also enhanced my sense of humour. I’ve had many opportunities to laugh at myself and my choices but now I realize nothing is the end of world,… is all a joyful journey, missteps and all. You could say that a mistake isn’t a mistake…it is a success in a different direction:)

Sending you all tons of love,

Weaving Architecture: Step 1 of the Design Process: Part 2

The experience of spending 3 weeks weaving samples formed the basis of my design process. I break this process down into three main components, which I identify as Architecture, Graphic, and Colour. In today’s post, I’ll start with Architecture. When I think about the architecture of a piece of cloth, I liken it to the architecture of a building.

  • Buildings have good foundations; cloth has hemstitching or a straight header upon which to build.
  • Buildings have studs; cloth has warp threads.
  • Buildings have floors; cloth has weft threads.
  • Buildings have a strong beam structure for exterior walls; cloth has a selvedge.

I build a piece of cloth the way I imagine a carpenter builds a house. And I feel that the most important decision that I make—the very first decision I have to make, right at the outset—is what my ends per inch (epi) are going to be. Ninety percent of what I weave is balanced cloth, because I generally make simple items—scarves, stoles, towels, blankies—things that we can wrap ourselves in. Highly functional and useful. Now, all of these items need to have optimal drape. And what I know is that a 50/50 piece of cloth will have the best drape possible, because it will have perfect bias. (For any newbies out there, a 50/50 cloth has the same number of ends per inch and picks per inch.)

Next time we’ll dig into the magic of sett and how knowing the right sett you need, to get the cloth you want, will change your weaving life forever. For our visual learners, we’ll have photos of finished pieces which will give you a better idea of the many possibilities for your handwoven cloth.

Sea Foam & Pebbles New Tea Towel Kit!

These towels are the result of a friend’s request for a thinner towel with texture. We often weave towels with Bouclé in the warp and weft and that combination sett at 12 EPI and woven at 12 PPI makes for a lovely drapey, textured towel.  Bouclé is such a treat to use in your kitchen or bathroom – nothing can beat it for practical use when you want softness and absorbency.

How to make them thinner….hmmm. Okay I’ll change the warp to 8/2 cotton and keep the same EPI/PPI – I’m always up for a challenge. The beat was very light and I watched the negative space in the web more than I watched the actual fell line. I was looking for little squares at the interlacement points and that really helped. After the first few inches, my beat was bang on and these wove up very quickly.

Once washed, they fulled beautifully and have given my friend exactly what she wanted. The colours she chose reminded me of pebbles on the beach. It was so much fun to play with colour and repetitive sequencing in the weft. I thought I had made a 13 yard warp but it turns out it was only 10, so I just got 9 towels…but if you make it 13 yards, you’ll get 12! You’ll have plenty of yarn in your kit.

Sea Foam & Pebbles Kit

Bouclé Cotton

An amazing selection of 50 colours to choose from when you dream of creating your own soft and absorbent towels

Here to help!

You can always find us on the Jane Stafford School of Weaving Forum or on Weave with Jane Stafford at Ravelry.

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