Friday, 27 June 2014

Building the weaving form

It was exciting to see the full sized patterns roll out of the large format printer at Staples. I could hardly wait to unroll them at home. The first thing I did was consult my calculations to confirm the dimensions. The pieces look REALLY BIG but the figures work out right.

The sleeves are the first step, so I built those forms first. I carefully colour coded all the special warps and wefts. These colours will be translated into coloured threads attached to particular warps. Knowing which thread is which will make it possible to insert the extensions of the sleeve warps threads into the correct places in the body of the jacket. Threads from the underarm turn and go down the side of the jacket as warp threads. Warp threads extending from the top of the sleeves will become weft across the shoulders. Threads coming from the front and back of the sleeves will become weft threads across the front and back of the jacket. These will be supplemented with extra threads to get the right number of weft threads per inch as I weave.

Just before I committed myself to making a lot of slits in the cardboard around the cuff to hold the warp threads, I did a little test to check that this method will really work. It is a combination of cardboard slits and holding stitches. A second strong thin yarn loops around the back and catches the warp thread into position before going back through the same slit. The warp threads are held at exactly the right place without having to be looped around the cardboard. Accurate, simple and quick. After the whole hem is warped, I'll tape the slits closed for extra insurance. The advantage over pin weaving is that I don't need a hefty stack of cardboard to hold the pins.

At the top of the sleeve forms I have opted for that hefty stack of cardboard for the pins. That way I can tie the extensions of the warp threads around the pins temporarily. I'll be able to adjust tension as I weave. I'll be able to untie them again when the sleeve in completely woven and insert the threads into the right part of the body of the jacket.

Here is the first sleeve form completed and the next one ready to put together.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

First step in making the weaving form

To make the toile I created a paper pattern from a favourite jacket (see previous post). After sewing it, I drew my adjustments onto the pattern. Now I'm starting to make the weaving form. I photographed the paper pattern and imported it into Adobe Illustrator at actual size. 

I traced it as a clean new digital drawing to form the basis for the next phase. 
I enlarged the drawing to make it 25% longer and 20% wider than the finished size (to allow for the shrinkage and take-up) and began to create the warping chart on it. (At critical points around the sleeve and shoulder this chart will also need weft information which I am still calculating.)