For the Spin and Weave Along that’s coming up I’ve been doing plain weave for my samples which isn’t anything new. For the 3 skirts I made I used plain weave and for the dress I used plain weave. I like it. It’s utilitarian and doesn’t take any thought at all during weaving.
This dress fabric was sett at 24 ends per inch (epi) but the weft was about 14 to 16 picks per inch (ppi). If you look closely you can see the there are more warp threads than weft threads per inch of fabric.
The difference for this project is that I am doing an even or balanced weave for this scarf project and for the yardage I made I set the warp yarns closer and so it was difficult to get an even weave.
Even weave means that there are the same number of picks per inch (ppi) in the weft as you have threads per inch (tpi) in your warp. This is not necessarily easy to achieve for me. I like to beat the weft a little harder than what is called for for this project. But what you look for is that the open spaces are square. This requires that instead of just pulling the beater with all my might and banging into the newly thrown weft thread I move the beater with purpose and place the new thread where it belongs.
Her’s a closeup of the scarf fabric on the loom. You can see that my beat isn’t really even but this is an extreme closeup. Nobody’s face will ever be this close tp check out my weaving skill in real life…I hope.
If I decided to beat harder I would end up with a fabric that has a bit less drape and is more weft faced….or even completely weft faced. What that means is that the weft yarns would be the only thing you could see and since I a using dyed yarn for the warp and white for the weft all of that lovely pink would be covered up by the beautiful white.
In my early weaving years I was a heavy beater and I made a scarf once from reclaimed sari silk that was so heavy….well, let’s just say I used it as a table runner because my nec couldn’t support it.
The only way to decide if you want a more warp faced fabric like my clothing fabrics or a balanced weave or a weft faced (which is what most tapestries are) is to sample and see if that fabric gives you the drape or structure or hand that you are looking for. And sampling means trying different setts and different beats and taking those fabrics and finishing the way you intend to finish your project fabric.
If you want to learn more about sett there is this very nice article on the Schacht Blog.
Have I talked about sampling enough on this blog this year? Well, I’m not sure I have so it’ll probably be a theme for next year too.
Also, the kits for the Spin and Weave Along will be available through midnight Thursday the 7th of December. That’s tomorrow. Get your’s now. Sometimes, if you are new, using the same materials as the instructor can be helpful.