Friday, May 4, 2012

Doubleweave Sprang "Lace"

Following up on my 2010 Challenge Project, a Handbag in Doubleweave and Sprang, I felt there was much to explore further using the combination of sprang and doubleweave.  Next I wanted to weave a series of small pieces with a second block of doublweave as a border around the sprang portion. The three pieces are based on the "Sailor's Hymn" which is about the Great Pilot helping us to navigate the troubled waters as well as the calm in our lives.


Chart and Compass


I threaded 60/2 silk at 60 epi per layer of doubleweave, with two colors alternating end-by-end in each layer of the warp.  Either color could be brought to the front of the cloth and left unwoven, to be then worked in sprang. The warps to be worked in sprang were not put onto the main warp beam.  One was put on the supplemental beam; the other was chained and weighted.  For the third piece I even used one of the warp colors I hadn't originally planned to work in sprang, took it off the beam and weighted it.  I accomplished the tiny sprang work with a #1 knitting needle, a small crochet hook, and my nearsighted vision.

Because every other warp was pulled to the front and left unwoven for the sprang layer, this left warps unwoven and loose on the back of the fabric, as well as huge floats of weft across the back. This wasted a lot of silk.  In the photo I've inserted a shed stick to illustrate the two doubleweave layers at the sides, but in the center you can see all the loose ends I ended up cutting off.

To get those warps and wefts to weave, I'd need another shaft.  But the two doubleweave blocks each took 4 shafts, and I was working on an 8-shaft loom. An option would be to just sprang all the warps, but I think that makes too dense of a sprang fabric, and I'd still have unwoven wefts across the back side so it wouldn't really solve the problem.  To get cloth that hangs together with my sprang work on top, I needed to move to a loom with more shafts.

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