21/05/2016

All you need to know about counterbalance looms?


As it is continually said that it is "impossible" to weave "unbalanced" sheds on counterbalance looms, I decided to make an illustrated guide to why it is actually perfectly do-able...

So, now there are two new pages on my website - one about how an ordinary Swe style 4-shaft CB loom with horses works, and another one about how dräll pulleys work, and what they can be used for.



30/04/2016

A mystery cloth


This is a top of my mother's:


She made it ages (20? 30?) years ago, from a remnant. Assumed cotton, but who knows, these days? It has a lovely hand.
I have always liked it, and always thought, carelessly, that it must be some kind of crackle-ish structure (although, who would have thought industry would make crackle-ish fabric for yardage?).

So, getting one step nearer:


Hm. Compare front and back ('cos this fabric has distinctly different faces).


Hm. Face side again:


It certainly looks like plain weave, with a pattern of crammed-and-spaced warps... except is does have blocks of some sort?

Hm. Double hm. We can (sort of) see that the warp colours appear to change when the (weft) blocks change.
Or, that's what I think - 'cept I can't understand how, as the whole shebang still looks like plain weave... and the back doesn't really show any weft "blocks"?

The fabric can have been rotated, of course: white warp, coloured weft.
How many colours in the weft, then? (How many wefts can a modern loom handle? And it also has to handle the crammed-and-spaced effect.) And why weave something so complicated, when a multi-coloured warp and constant # of picks per cm would be so much easier? - could it be because this particular mill just had got this very ultra-modern loom, capable of handling a gazillion of wefts and varying the beating-up force - a kind of "because I could"-result?

Against the light (and now all pics start to be blurry... try holding a piece of almost see-through fabric I one hand, while trying to get your camera to focus with the other hand, and you'll see what I mean. First pic to illustrate my point... :-)




And in the last picture it looks like the cramming shifts... regardless of if in the warp or weft direction, HOW??? (click pics to biggify)

Well.

I still think it looks like plain weave, crammed-and-spaced, except it appears impossible to achieve the warp-stripe-colour-changes (that are, I think, essential to the overall colour block idea) with such a simple structure...

The warp colour-"changes" might be some colour-and-weave thing, with the warp being end-by-end... except that to make the "other" colour get to the surface - wouldn't that need a more complex structure?

Insights?

EDIT: for those guessing at some kind of leno - no, I thought about that. Unfortunately the photos aren't sharp 'nuf to blow up more - .

09/04/2016

Announcing:

my new, ok a new, website, of which I happen to be responsible: Bergdala glastekniska museum.

Most pages are still in Swedish only, but some have been translated. The link takes you to the start page in English - for Swedish, click the "på svenska" in the upper part of the navigation column.

As my glass English is not the best (I have been using this page a lot, but what do I know...?!?), I hope you can help me out... all and any thoughts and comments are welcome!

Due to other concentration-consuming activities, I totally forgot about "April spools day" this year.
So, a bit late, a picture to combine spools and glass:


This is a plate used for pantographing a pattern onto several (in our case 24) glasses at the same time, making them ready for acid etching.
(On the off chance: should anybody "out there" recognize the pattern, I would very much like to know "all": name, designer, time, picture(s)...)

30/03/2016

How can I live without floating selvedges?

was a question on a forum last week.

Easily, is the fastest answer. I had been weaving for 20+ years before I even heard about such animals... (and I confess: have not tried FS, not even once, since I heard about them. And, since it is confession time: once in a while I have been known to make an extra turn around the outer end - but I had done that for the 20+ years of weaving before I heard about FS, so I don't know if that counts)

So, how?

Here are some answers:
1. see what happens. IF an end doesn't get caught, ignore it.
2. IF an end doesn't get caught, and it annoys me (probably not, but anyway) - try starting the weft from the other side.
3. think about them before weaving (see below)

The thinking gets easier with written-out structure (binding) diagrams.

Like this: let us assume a 2/2 twill, thus 4 shafts. There are four possible permutations for the tie-up(s). Likewise, there are two possible ways (directions) for threading (/// or \\\). For treadlings there are, again, four possibilities: /// and \\\, but also if we treadle from the top down ("American way") or from the bottom up ("Swedish way").

Here goes: first diagram. The colours in the wefts are put there to distinguish between right-to-left and left-to-right (in reality they are the same colour, as this is a single-shuttle weave)


Going clockwise from upper right: treadling from top to bottom, from right to left (means the red wefts go from right to left): both outer ends get caught. Treadling from bottom to top (means the yellow wefts go from right to left): both outer ends get caught.
However: if one shifts the shuttling direction, both outer ends become un-bound.

Next quadrant (bottom right): exactly the same applies - shuttling from right to left both outer ends get caught. If switching shuttling direction, both outer ends get not-caught.

The two left-hand quadrants work the opposite: if shuttling from right to left, both outer ends get un-caught - reversing the shuttling direction lets the outer ends get caught.
(As I always want to start from the right, I crossed out the two left-hand quadrants)

Diagram 2 - the tie-up is shifted one step up.
As I always want to start from the right, I crossed out the two right-hand quadrants because the outer ends will be un-caught.


Diagram 3 - the tie-up shifted yet one step up.
As I always want to start from the right... the two left-hand quadrants are crossed out.


Diagram 4 - the last permutation in the tie-up.
As I always (etc)... the two right-hand quadrants are crossed out.


Of course, all of the crossed-out quadrants can be fixed by either:
- starting the shuttling from left to right
- OR (still shuttling my fave direction) by adding or subtracting one end each side.


OK, I hear you: BUT what about a more complicated binding (structure)?

This is a random structure that I found on handweaving.net:


As I always prefer to start from the right, AND (being Swedish) read the treadling from the bottom up: here the turquoise picks go from right to left.
With this threading, tie-up and treadlings there will be some un-caught outer ends. If I haven't made a mistake (or two...) the longest selvedge float will be seven picks.

Is seven picks too much?

Well - for a, say, rug (or other coarse weave): yes, definitely.
But for something woven at some 30-40-50 ends/picks per inch? Being metric, I don't much care for "inching", but a free end at the selvedge being 1/2 to 3/4 of a centimetre is nothing much to me.
(It, of course, also depends on the end use of the cloth: if it is to be cut and sewn, the selvedges do not matter at all (coarse cloth or not).)

So, adding to the three "answers" above:
1. see what happens. IF an end doesn't get caught, ignore it.
2. IF an end doesn't get caught, and it annoys me (probably not, but anyway) - try starting the weft from the other side.
3. think about them before weaving (see above)
4. what is the fabric meant to be used for? IF for cutting and sewing, then selvedges usually are of no importance
5. what are the actual lengths of the "free" selvedge threads? Is it likely to catch?
6. (if I am hand-throwing: maybe catch the selvedge "manually" now and again - at the "points" of the top treadling)

This, my friends, is how I live without floating selvedges!

(Re point treadlings, see this post , which mainly is about making a "clean cut" when changing treadling direction.)

07/12/2015

Tablecloth for x-mas?

It has been a long time - I have tried to get this blog going again, but haven't had anything interesting to share... because I have buried myself in something entirely different (but maybe equally nerdy), namely how industrial glass etching was done at the turn of the last century. (Everything about that adventure at another blog, which is only in Swedish. And, because of many specialized words, I don't dare put a translator on it...)

Anyway. Remember this? I visited the same place today, and saw a tablecloth:

(warp runs right-to-left in the above picture)

I took some pictures, which unfortunately did not come out quite focussed. (Have a new camera, too - it likes to do things on its own, and I haven't been able to tame it yet.)
Here is one not too blurry closeup of the actual cloth (warp top-to-bottom):


Cotton in white and red, turned satin (more than 5-end, I think), and too many blocks (at least five, maybe 6).

This is not quite right, proportions are somewhat off, border very much cropped. I used a light yellow for the white weft, and an orangey red for the red weft.
Here is the five-block version:


Revised to make four blocks only:


With four blocks and changing the satin to 4-end twill, it can be woven on 16 shafts. (How to do that? One way is described in an article on my website, here - for Swedish, here.

(Of course this profile can be made into something completely different... daldräll, some lace... )


09/10/2015

Facings

It turned out I had beginner's luck with the first band... but now (after some picking-out, new try, more picking-out) all the bands are in place. Also, all the facings are in place.
(Are they still called "facings" if they go all the way around the neck?)


06/10/2015

Decoration


(No, this is not the total "decor")