16/10/2014

Fanning for the future?


Before I had discussed fan-reed ideas with Pat, it had not even occurred to me to strive for straight edges. I mean - when you can do curvy, when in fact the whole idea is to make curves, why not do curvy edges as well? Oddly enough, Pat said the same, only opposite: fabric, whatever the use, should always have straight edges.

So I cooked up something radically different (from what I had tried previously): an advancing point threading with an advancing treadling - neither threading nor treadling "evening" with the reed:


To accomplish straight edges one has to sley from one "middle-of-the-fan" to another "middle-of-the-fan". With my reed that means the warp has to be offset a bit. As there are 26 dents/fan, and I sley double, I made the colour code on the draft above (click to biggify!):
from the right, from start to first red line, the 26 ends go in the half-fan; next fan gets 52 ends (to second red); from second red to first yellow, from first yellow to second; from second yellow to first green... I simply ended where I had the last half-fan filled.

The treadling repeat is 40 picks, I move the reed every 10 picks, and use 6 positions. This means the reed movements/treadle sequence do not coincide until after 8 complete reed movements.

Finally, I had found something that looks promising on the loom! In my experience, all fanned cloth looks streaky on loom - so did this:


After fringeing, wet-finishing including pressing and mangling, it looks like this:


Most (but not all) weft streaking evened out with wet finishing, and the edges are tolerably straight.
But something funny happened when it was still damp: I was pressing, and dragged it along the ironing board. Look what happened:


My first thought was that I had somehow "ruined" the straight edges, but it was just a passing phenomenon. When it was completely dry, it stopped doing that.

Someone suggested a fabric like this could be a nice yardage, for a jacket maybe.
I like the thought, but have no idea what yarn to choose.
The reed is a nominal 50/10cm, which means the most open part is somewhere 3-3,5 dents per cm, the closest end has about 12 dents per cm. For this piece I used cotton 16/2, and it is a bit too open in the open parts, I'm afraid it will easily snag.
But with a thicker yarn... how would that work in the close parts?

A yarn with more tooth, like linen, would perhaps work better structurally - but my first (ever) sample had linen warp. It got cut off after many, many mended ends and some 30 cm. Maybe it would work with linen weft only?

Or should I try wool? With a carefully monitored fulling?

12/10/2014

It makes me sad

to learn that the National Guild is going to abandon the Weave of the month after five years. The reason is, I heard, lack of contributions.

This idea was mine to begin with. Or, to make the story somewhat longer: in 2004, my (then) guild decided to compile a calendar. The idea was not mine to begin with, but I ended up doing most of the layout work. The calendar was a success - we (almost) sold out at the Glimåkra days when we first presented it. (It can still be read online - follow the link above, then click on the pictures to see them bigger.)
After that success, we talked about doing it again, but somehow, it never happened. (Ours was a small guild, only about 30 members, of which some were not very active.)

A little later, I suggested that the National guild should add some "weaverly" content to the new website - like, perhaps, a monthly "weave" (could be a recipe, an idea, something inspiring weavers both new and old - and, perhaps, inspire more weavers to become members.) After lots of discussion the idea was turned down, with arguments from "nobody wants to share their secrets" to "but if it is 'open', why should ppl want to become members, as they get the benefit for free". (This last is a valid argument, it is always a thin line to walk: how much do we want to give away to "anybody" as compared to our members, who, after all, pay. Not always easy, to find a balance between "inspiration" and "free learning".)

Anyway, the idea took root, and 2010 the Weave of the Month started. As it was an idea from my guild, we took it rather too seriously - we (still only 30 members) contributed 4 weaves that first year. It was an immediate success, but the willingness to contribute was rather smaller than I had anticipated. With some persuasion and some more contributions from us, 2011 went by. For 2012, we agreed to publish several weaves from a handwritten notebook one of us owned - that saved 2012. (To see all contributions from us, look here.

Since then I have left he guild (for reasons mostly personal). And now I see that W-o-t-M is going to be abandoned. Apparently that first argument ("nobody wants to share their secrets") was so much more valid than I could ever had imagined. (The National Guild has some 1600 members total.)

It makes me sad that so many weavers do not want to share... sharing does not have to mean a complete "recipe", including colour numbers.

Some inspiration:

Wristwarmers, sewn from a piece of differentially shrunk fabric with fringes:

A dräll "flower". As I only have 16 shafts, it is constructed of five blocks of 1/2 twill. Note: the repeat ends at the red line(s).
What it can be used for?
Well - by expanding the blocks, and using fat yarn, it could perhaps be made into a rug?
Or, with fine linen (and several repeats), it could make a tablecloth? Or a towel?
Or...


29/09/2014

Doodling for Halloweave

Well, that is not the whole truth.

By February I have to have something for an exhibition. That something has to be hung from a dowel, it can be max 80 cm wide and 160 cm long. It can also be some 10-15 cm deep.
So of course I want to weave something with a little depth :-)

The first thing that came to mind was a three-layer structure with offset layer-crossings, sort of like this: (never mind the colours, I have to see what I am thinking, here)


But... if that is going to be hung from the top, it will fall to be all flat. (Unless: maybe some strategically placed wires? But then: would wires survive packing?)

So I thought that maybe the outer layer(s) can be made longer? That way there will always be some depth, admittedly not much.

Hm. *Could* the outer layers be made longer?

As my scanner is out to lunch I tried to do all this drawing on the 'puter. (As you can see, I wasn't entirely lucky, but I think I can understand what I mean, at least)
By some cutting and pasting I think I have it, sort of:


Of course, this would require three warp beams, but perhaps the third can be improvised?

New try, only requiring two beams (I think):


But the middle layer would not be visible. Is that a good or a bad idea?

So I tried yet another idea, where all layers would have their "length of fame":

(yes, I just "painted over" the old colour... it is but a sketch, after all)

... and I am back to three beams, again.

What this has to do with Halloweave? Oh, over at Weavolution Sarah started a "Halloweave House" about 3D weaving...

23/09/2014

The innards of one table-top mangle



(Sorry, the workshop is too narrow, and the assembled mangle is too heavy to move for just a "beauty shot")

This one is different from the one pictured here, in that it doesn't have a protector sheet. Instead, this one is made to just send the mangle goods through - if you want harder mangling, you will have to send it through again. (And, possibly again, and again...)

It came to me in need of some tinkering. Here are the pieces, "top-down":


When all the detachable pieces are taken out, what remains is the frame and the table (in two pieces, hinged to make it shallower. Under the front table, there is a "manual" and an admonition to store it safely:


On the right-hand side there is a gear of sorts, to make the bottom roller go faster than one wants to crank. (I had it off to clean it, but mounted it before I thought to take pictures)


Next, the bottom roller (the one with the gear and crank at the right-hand side) is dropped into place. The gears mesh with a bit of jiggling:


Then the top roller goes in, on top of the bottom one. The gears at the left-hand side mesh.


Two smallish pieces, one on each side, to press down on the top roller, go under the heavy cross piece. The spring just sits on top of the cross piece.


To complete the assembling, the top piece is put into place. It is fastened with 4 screws, two on each side.


(The whole shebang has five screws only - one for the bottom gear, and 4 to hold the top.)

To control the pressure, you use the top screw.

A detail shot of the "manual" (click to make bigger):


An attempt at translation:

Manual
Grease the wheel screw an all bearings. Turn the wheel screw to the right, to make the rollers press hard against each other.
The clothes should be folded with seams, buttons, monograms [embroidered, my note] to the inside. Let the rollers take the clothes over the whole width. The clothes should not be let to go around the rollers. The mangling ought to be done over the whole width of the rollers, that is not on one side only. Dents in the rollers that can occur because of seams, buttons etc will even out over time and will not impede the good [quality, working?] of the mangle.
When mangling is done, turn the wheel screw to the left.

Ystad [town is south Sweden] Foundry & Mechanical Workshop [ltd]

These old mangles are slightly simpler than a spinning wheel - and only marginally more complex than a traditional (Swe) loom (mechanically, that is). And they work as well...

28/08/2014

More museum examples

On request from Meg I continued looking in the museum catalogue.
And I found two more "interesting" descriptions:

Weaving reed

Material: Wood, Textile
Technique: Knotted
Function: Dividing the warp

The [weaving] reed sits near the cloth beams [yes, plural - my note] in a weaving loom, directly in front of the shafts. It's function is to divide the threads.
The rectangular reeds consist of a wooden frame, into which thin blades of wood (in one instance metal) are mounted with a textile band.


Weaving shuttle

Material: wood
Technique: carpentered [my dictionary says "carpenter" is a verb, so it must be correct...?]
Function: weaving

Shuttle. A cloth consists of two thread systems, warp and weft. The warp is tensioned during weaving and is crossed at right angles by the weft. With the help of the shuttle, the weft is inserted from side to side between the warp ends. The weft can go over and under the warp ends. With a treadle loom the lifting and lowering of the warp ends is done by the treadles. The shuttle is [quill-shaped?], with a hole in which a dowel is fixed. The weft is fastened around the dowel. One [of the shuttles] is patterned in two places.


In all fairness: at Murberget, they have elected to transcribe the text in the old paper catalogue. These two artefacts have no pictures, but in many instances they show the handwritten paper entry, often from the 1920-1940ies. Here is one example.
(I have often marvelled at what the museum generalists came up with a hundred years ago... but that is another story.)

So, Murberget uses the original texts/descriptions - most other museums do not. I remember looking in the Nordiska museets paper catalogue, and... let me say I can understand why they do not transcribe indiscriminately.

However, what is interesting about yesterday's post is that it is written after 1991. As I recall, there were several books about spinning and spinning wheels out by then, even written by Swedish authors... And even generalists should be able to read?

Now, to cheer us all up, a picture:


The picture comes from here.

Be sure to click the pic to biggify!


27/08/2014

The, I don't know, dangers, maybe? of museum catalogues...



The only thing I did was to make another spinning wheel search, this time on the site of Murbergets museum.
After some dead tries I finally found out how to search the whole site, and got some 150 hits.
Several were not spinning wheels (even though they were so tagged), and most wheels had no pictures.

As I was clicking through the detail pages, I came across this text.
Due to the extraordinary text, I felt I had to let you all know how a spinning wheel can be described (my translation, which probably can be re-written to something more fluent, but I think this captures the flavour of the original)(Swedish original below):

Material: Wood, Metal
Technique: Turned, Nailed
Function: To ply thread(s)

Monogram - Initials - Writing: IE Holm
Maker - Location - Affirmed: Teodor Bylund

[The] spinning wheel is used to make thread/yarn from textile material (wool/flax). The wheel itself makes the flyer move. The treadle makes the wheel go round.

The spinning wheel consists of several nicely turned wooden parts. The "table" has three legs, of which two are connected to a crosspiece which also houses the treadle. From the treadle there is a vertical shaft leading to an S-shaped iron. This is an axle, which goes through forks and wheel. The two forks have an upright each, everything fastens to the "table". The "table" is slanted. The flyer mountings are located behind the wheel. A bigger lump comes up and is penetrated by a horizontal stave, at the ends of which two pillars are mounted, the flyer sits between these. The distaff's mounting piece is located at the back end of the table. Newly turned (1991) by Teodor Bylund. The head of the distaff has its own number 13918. At the back end there is a knob for carrying. Drive band is missing. Marked "I E Holm".

(No, I have not used google translate, or any other translation software... it really (REALLY) says there is a bigger lump coming through the table, and that there is a carrying knob at the back end. Try google translate yourselves, if you don't believe me!)
It is a pity there is no picture - I would have liked to see this obviously very different MOA construction.
However, for those of you having trouble with lumps and forks, here are two annotated pictures (click for readability):




OK, IF you have used the auto-translate, read the text on the museum site instead! The auto-translate makes the original Swedish totally... strange.


Material: Trä, Metall
Teknik: Svarvat, Spikat
Funktion: Tvinna tråd

Monogram - Initialer - Påskrift: I E Holm
Tillverkare - Tillverkningsort - Säker: Teodor Bylund

Spinnrocken används för att göra tråd/garn av textilmaterial (ull/lin). Själva hjulet ser till att vingspindeln rör sig. Trampan sätter fart på hjulet.

Spinnrocken består av flera fint svarvade trädelar. "Bordet" har tre ben, varav två fäster nedtill i en tvärslå där också trampan sitter. Från trampan leder en vertikal axel till ett S-format järn. Detta är en axel, vilken löper genom gafflar och rockhjul. De två gafflarna har varsin stötta, alltsammans fäster i "bordet". "Bordet" är snedvinklat. Bakom hjulet sitter vingspindelns fästanordning. En större klump går upp och genomborras av en horisontell stav, i vilkens ändar två pelare fästs, vingspindeln sitter mellan dessa. Längst bak på bordet sitter rockhuvudets ställning. Nysvarvad (1991) av Teodor Bylund. Rockhuvudet eget nummer 13918. Längst bak en knopp att bära i. Drivbandet saknas. Märkt: "I E Holm".


19/08/2014

A towel from IKEA


From time to time there are discussions about combining waffle weave (sometimes called "honeycomb", but not by me) with plain weave.

Often the discussions get heated, with arguments like "the different shrinkage rates makes them IMPOSSIBLE to combine". The correct answer is, of course, that one can do exactly as one wants - the weaving police may hinder one from getting such a combination into an exhibition, but the result will not (for instance) explode, or otherwise cause harm.
However, the results may cause disappointment.

The other day I found a towel from IKEA, combining a plain weave grid with squares of waffle weave. It has been in use for several years, washed many many times, and it still functions as a towel.


The plain weave bands pucker, and there is some tracking.


The yarns look like cotton 16/2, possibly low-twist 20/2, and after all shrinkage there are 18-20 ends/picks per centimetre.

It was very difficult to count ends per cell - try as I might, I got 7 ends/picks per repeat. (I did poke at it with a needle, but one does not always get popular if one starts to actually unravel other ppl's textiles...)

The most usual waffle weave has one more pick than it has ends. There are ways to reduce the number of picks, like the green and the red below.


I decided I had mis-counted. Even enlarging the pictures, I can't be sure - but looking at the towel, the longest floats look very much alike both warp- and weft-wise. (And it is impossible to decide which way is which, as there are hems on all sides.) Much enlarged:


So I added the plain weave to the 7 ends/8 picks repeat.


(I left an empty shaft and treadle to make it easier to see how the addition works)

This means one can duplicate an IKEA towel on just 6 shafts and 7 treadles. (Don't have more than 6 treadles? As it happens, one of the "waffle" treadles has one of the plain weave lifts:


And... should someone tell you it is IMPOSSIBLE to combine waffle and plain, you can always argue that what IKEA can do must be possible.