22/04/2014

One way to construct a stitched double weave


Many years ago, I sampled for a stitched dw - it had a kind of point twill for the background, and a fairly open layer of (I don't remember... both pictures and draft got lost in a computer upgrade, and the physical samples are in A Good Place somewhere... There were a couple of cushion made, and then sold.)

So I tried to reconstruct it. I used 16 shafts on the AVL, so some of the tries I just did have too many treadles. This, therefore, is simpler: a 10 shaft point threading and treadling for the bottom, and a plain weave for the top.
I decided on a ratio of 3 (bottom) : 1 (top).

Here is how I started:


The red square is what the bottom layer looks like; the blue rectangles show the plain weave. These layers are now totally separate.

I started to add stitchers. Below is one way of doing that - I'm sure others can come up with "better" ways...


The red marks show where the top layer weft is stitched down to the bottom layer (by raising some warps); the blue marks show where the top warp is stitched to the bottom layer (by lowering the top warp under a bottom layer weft).

When looking at the back, it becomes obvious that I wasn't as consistent as I thought... (but I'm not going to weave it, anyway). The general idea is to place the stitchers so that they will "disturb" the top layer as little as possible - therefore they are placed near the places where the top end/pick is going under the top pick/end. Ideally, the bottom layer warp will slide over the stitching points, making the reverse side look undisturbed. To facilitate this, I would use a reed which is good for sleying 3/dent for the bottom layer, then sley 3 bottom + 1 top per dent.


(Click pictures to biggify)

17/04/2014

Yet another gown


One of "my" universities is getting a new rector.

I was invited to submit a sketch for the new rector's gown - and it was expressly said it should have sleeves.
(And I am grateful for that - the original pattern is not one I am proud of, these many years later. How did it come to look like that? Read parts of the story here...)

Yesterday I delivered it.

(unfortunately, the back view is blurry)

As you can see, it has elements of the original, and sleeves that are cousins to these.

02/04/2014

About dräll and other patterns

Starting with the word: dräll is a difficult word, probably coming from latin trilix, meaning three threads. (Note: in the etymology there is nothing at all that suggests "pattern".)

In Sweden, (the unqualified word) dräll has often been used as if meaning patterned (any kind of pattern). Sometimes, the word is qualified to "äkta dräll" (true dräll), when referring to a pattern where blocks of warp-faced structure contrasts with blocks of weft-faced (either turned twill or turned satin - thus multishaft).

As multishaft looms were not the most common, but the wish for patterning was, several methods for patterning on only 4 shafts were developed - as they were developed to mimic "true dräll" they often are referred to as "simplified drälls". Examples of simplified drälls are daldräll (overshot), jämtlandsdräll, sålldräll (Ms and Os, I think), kuvikas (S&W)... All of these have one principle in common: there is one warp system, but two weft systems, one of which gives plain weave.
There are many patterns named after a province (daldräll, jämtlandsdräll), a village (rovadräll, tynderödräll).
Other "meaningless" names are fattigmansdräll (poor (wo)man's dräll), soldatdräll (soldier's dräll). Another thing they all have in common is that the names do not really denote a specific technique...

There is also halv-dräll, which only has two blocks. There have been several "inventors" of that technique, one of whom was Wilhelmina Bergman. She published "Den lilla vävboken" about 1878, where she claims to be the "inventor" of a way to weave dräll on just 4 shafts (and she got a patent, valid for a number of years, 5, I think). This method is very much alike to what we call halvdräll today, with the difference that she did not use two different yarns for weft. (In fact, several old books do not) Over the years (the book was reprinted many, many times) she "invented" 4 ways to thread her... weave (she doesn't give it a name). Here is a screenshot of all four:

(The one in the lower left corner will not give a true plain weave, because the threading does not follow the "odd-even" rule)

At some point another "name" cropped up: five-shaft dräll (femskaftsdräll). These were obviously done on five shafts (with a special five-shaft pulley, pictured here - scroll down a bit), and were woven in some kind of lace weave. As I am notoriously hopeless with the "names" of lace weaves, I'll leave it there... (An example can be seen on my website, here - at the end of the article.)

There were also a couple of ways to add shafts, dräll pulleys or "two-tier pulleys" (lunor, in Swedish). I have written about both kinds here. These were (still are?) quite common, even though countermarche looms had begun to be used already in the 1840-ies.

22/03/2014

Looking at both sides

After the 2/2 twill adventure, I started to ponder even weaves.

What is an even weave?
To me it means that there are as many warps as there are wefts showing on top - very easy if we are talking straight threadings/treadlings (as in 2/2 twill, for example...) It seems like Emery (The primary structures of fabrics) is of the same opinion.
(Note: I am not thinking of sett/beat here; I'm not after a "balanced" weave, which for me means there are the same number of ends and picks.)

But what happens if we are using other threadings?

A simple point in both directions, can that really be "even"?



Counted over the whole repeat, there are 99 "up" ends and 97 "up" picks. Is that good enough to be called "even"?






Or a slightly fancier point - this one is even, with 56 ups each.






Treadled to a point, 102 ends, 94 picks.






Tromp as writ, we have 99 ends, 97 picks again.





Some fancier threadings:






This one comes out as even, too - again if counted over the whole repeat.





is also even.











So: how much can the ups and downs differ - can the simple diamond above be called "even"?
Or, perhaps: only straight weaves can be called "even"? (After all, many of the individual sheds above are not even)

I can't make up my mind - opinions welcome!

14/03/2014

International pi day

Let's first see if blogger accepts the pi sign - as it didn't, here is a picture of a pi sign:

I wanted to celebrate the day by making a drawdown showing such a sign, but it turns out that 16 shafts are not enough to make a nice pi.

However. Pi has an infinite number of decimals, so let me instead present an infinite number of (ok, just 8) ways to achieve a straight 2/2 twill, all with straight treadling.

First: a straight 2/2 twill on a 4-shaft broken threading:

Next, an 8-shaft, 12-treadle variant. (Why 12 treadles? - because the draft started out as a weft-emphasis plaited twill, which needed 12 treadles)

However, that many treadles are not needed - in fact, you only need 4. Any 4:

A 10-shaft variant. Could this be called a "broken point threading"? As before, only 4 treadles are needed.

Onwards we go... 16 shafts, with a couple of threadings I don't know why one would like to use:

As I actually have 20 treadles on my trusty CM - here is one that uses all of them:

So why the label "cultural differences"? Because it shows why some of us dumb Swedes do not understad the term "twill threading" so often used on the international forums... (I have writtten about it before - here is one example on this blog, here is an article on my website.)

25/02/2014

Once spotted...


To think that I hadn't seen this kind of double pulleys (or, not consciously, anyway) until a couple of months ago... now I see them everywhere.

Spotted at a flea market not far from here:


As (again) they were without companions, I left them for someone else to play with.

(And Jean, if you read this, the strange shaft-ties: I have given up on that, until I can get to the museum myself. They keep giving me the wrong references - )

18/02/2014

How to spin better linen yarns

Many authorities "of the time" assert that yarn spun with "the new method" (ie with a DFW of the Mager type) has a much, much better quality - as if consistent grist and twist come automatically with the wheel type. (Maybe it does... after all, I haven't got mine operational yet)

To let you all know as much as I now do, I took a stab at translating the first part of the Book with the Hopeless Title - the part that should instruct us all how to use this famous wheel.

(It can be that you, too, become a bit disappointed with the contents. But I assure you: this is all there is!)

The first part, same as the other, is now available in .pdf-form, the translated variant here with text in both Swedish and (my attempt to translate it into) English. The plate is on the very last page. (Comments on the translation(s) are most welcome!)

There is also the "original" (transcribed, some sort of Swedish) - found here. The drawing is on the last page.

For my local-ish Swedish friends: do you know anything about the Gårdsby Lin-Institut, at Gårdsby outside Växjö, that was in existence 1811-1827 (or -28)? There is a rumour that they used double flyer wheels there, too, but as the Mager type was not known until 1843, I would be very interested to know what kind of DFWs they were using.