Spinning for backstrap weaving Part 2

6 May 2013

Yesterday the post was about my spinning for backstrap weaving, today is about my teacher’s work and others I admire; work that I use to model my spinning and weaving.

Here is a piece of Abby Franquemont’s

Spun in Peru. I don’t know if she spun it or a compadre did. The amount of twist in the yarn causes the warp to twist and turn when not under tension. Notice that the heddles are made of the same yarn, hand spun, as the warps. This makes sense to me as a way to reduce the abrasion. In sewing I was taught to sew silk with silk, cotton with cotton thread. If you sew cotton with silk, the stronger silk will wear through the cotton. Using the same material for threads that rub on each other gives the least abrasion. Not a fan of polyester sewing thread .

Back to the topic at hand, this piece does NOT lay flat:

Abby's curl sm

I have a few pieces well made in the Andes–a bag from CTTC (The Center for Traditional Textiles Cuzco). It is hard to see the individual threads in the bag but here is one that where you can see the angle of twist
CCTT bap yran

Here is a piece that I bought in Cuzco market in 1999
Cuzco hair tie

More akin to the narrow bands we are weaving. It twists and turns. This piece is really neat, it has intersecting woven bands! In Nilda’s book, Textile Traditions of Chinchero: A Living Heritage there are very few pictures of warps not under tension but the heddles and skeins are kinky.

At Stringtopia this loom is hanging on the wall:
loom on wall

The weight of the bar at the other end has the warps under light tension yet there are still kinks and loops. Next to it is a wonderful finished piece with kinky fringe
finished piece
This piece looks like the cloth or corners would curl if not pinned to the wall.

This finished pieces does not twist or curl
flat piece

Flatness achieved by smart use of both S and Z twist yarns.

Abby explains that one of the effects of adding an edging, ˜nawi awapa,is that the cloth lies flatter.

I assume that all these textiles come from the Chinchero region of the Andes.

As non-traditional weavers, we are each free to decide how our weaving should be. I want my rugs to lie very flat, otherwise I trip over them. Other textiles , I’m learning don’t have to be flat off the loom. Or if I want flat off the loom, I have more options than just reducing the amount of twist in the yarn. I can be smart and combine the right amount of S and Z twist yarns. My first pieces this year, with both S and Z singles do lie flat– beginners luck. Getting smart about it has yet to come. For now I like the convolutions of my bands, it means I had enough twist in the yarn to weave and I could focus on learning my weaving vocabulary.

Combining S and Z twist in woven cloth, a whole new topic to explore.


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