Saturday, 22 December 2012

Thick and thin weaving

tapestry and even weave
A problem I want to solve for this jacket is the need for thicker, sturdier sections of weaving for  collar, front edge, and cuffs (the places where sewn garments have facings and interfacing). On the previous jacket, I darned extra yarn along the back of the warp threads at the front edge but this wasn't quite enough and the buttonholes are pulling and sagging with use. The options that I have tried so far are: 

Weaving some sections with tapestry weave - I used a 3 ply yarn for the basic weaving and and a 2 ply yarn over two warps for the tapestry (weft faced) sections. I did the even weave first and then went back and did the tapestry weave, interlocking into the edge along the vertical line. The result is a smooth thicker section with pleasing vertical ridges.
even weave and soumak
Weaving some sections with soumak stitch - I did all this in 3 ply yarn. The first sample of soumak stitch proved to be too stretchy, so I tried another stitched over a thinner horizontal thread (I call this corded soumak stitch). This solved the stretch problem, but soumak stitch worked all one direction has a decided diagonal pull. So I did another sample alternating the direction for each row. This formed a stable section thicker and firmer than the tapestry weave of the first sample. It has a horizontal "herringbone" texture. 
even weave and twining
Twining some areas - I used 3 ply for the basic weaving and 2 ply for the twining over two warp threads. It turned out about as thick as the tapestry woven sample, but feels a bit sturdier. It has a faint vertical direction with little dots between the ridges where the twist of the twining shows.
Another idea is to do the preliminary weaving all in even weave and work solidly over some sections with an embroidery stitch. I'll need to research what kind of stitch would work for that. 

Whatever method I choose to make the thin and thick sections, I will need to develop a method to make a consistent pleasing edge.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Another jacket!

Another all-in-one-piece jacket is now in the formative stage. Since finishing the jacket last year and enjoying wearing it, I have had the fun of making lots of other woven projects, mostly small purses. I have also been learning how to spin both on a wheel and with a drop spindle. A friend got two fleeces for me and suddenly I fell in love with the colour and feel of some lovely tawny grey wool from a ryeland sheep. Wouldn't that make a lovely jacket ... I have spun and woven some samples. Now the clean carded wool is waiting in its bags while I spin the other fleece for a friend to knit herself a project. This achieves three aims: I will get hours of experience spinning a quantity of yarn to order; I will no longer have the other fleece taking up space in my house; and I'll have time to make my plans and do the experimentation needed for the new jacket.

I'm determined that making this new jacket will be a very different process from last time. I want to try a new approach in which I weave some parts temporarily and finish them at a later stage in the project. Hopefully this will make it possible to keep the body of the jacket on the weaving form for the whole time instead of progressing from one form to another. I've discovered some re-usable plastic clips called Makedo and am experimenting with them for building the weaving form. Have a look at the possibilities here!