Warp-faced weaving

23 July 2012

I have been studying warp-faced weaving in its many forms these past few years. The number of commercial yarns that are appropriate for this kind of weaving are very limited-crochet cotton #10 is it. This weaving needs strong, smooth yarn with twist, the more the better. Used to be that pearl cotton was good too but recently it is spun much softer and fuzzes up with use.

I have been studying the rebozos of Mexico( see this for a discussion of meaning of the rebozo today) and thinking about ikat. But I need a yarn to weave in a warp-faced cloth so I thought I’d try Tencel 8/2.
Inspired by this rebozo
 I see that it is two colors, striped with a center panel in a paired float pick technique that I have woven a lot. The elaborated fringe treatment, macrame, is not in my skill set. This seems doable in black and white. I wrapped some stripe patterns

Some are quite satisfying visually, I think that I’ll make the edges black and the center white so I’ll rearrange the stripes. Also the little Harrisville 4H/4T loom only has about 600 heddles. At a sett of 60epi to get a truly warp-faced cloth I can only weave a 10″ width. OK, 10″ is fine for a trial.

Here it is on the loom:

The tencel is behaving well, the sett seems good on the loom.  The pick up pattern is charted here and is easy to do.  Because of the floats there is slightly less take up in the central patterned panel that in the body of the web.  After I had woven about a yard I had to start compensating with extra sticks at the back beam.  I put on a little over 3 yards of  warp hoping to get a nice long scarf– this is basically a sample , I don’t know what to expect in take up  in percent, I do expect it to be a lot.  When the apron rod came over the back beam I could no longer compensate to the difference in the pattern panel and had to dive up weaving a bit before I wanted to.

But the size is nice, 10″ x 80″ plus fringe.  The appearance did not change much when I wash it but the hand did soften.  It is very sensual.  No,  it won’t pull through a wedding ring but it does have a nice sheen.  Here are some photos of the finished scarf;

And here you can see the drape and the other side of the pattern panel where the motifs are white.

And lastly the fringe end without any macrame.

The The piece is very satisfactory and I believe that I can use this tencel for and rebozo with ikat stripes.


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