Then there was this show. A group of artists, representing many techniques (from glass blowing to textiles via painting and woodwork), were to have a show titled "Transparency".
At first I wasn't very interested, but then I had an idea: a drapery, with the basket weave for the joined areas, and the occasional word printed on something clear in the pockets.
Something clear... like plastic? Would laser printed plastic survive washing? Or hand written with a waterproof pen? It had to survive pressing, too. Sampling, I found that waterproof pens apparently are only waterproof if used in the wrong place (like if you get a spot on the shirt). I found that laser printers are different - pieces from one printer survived, pieces from the other did not.
In the small samples the basked weave acted like in the first sample, that is: it was nearly invisible.
So I wove, placing various words here and there.
Then I wet finished the piece. Some of the words were still visible, and the one-layer areas were a lot more visible than in the samples...
So... why didn't sampling help? The only reason I can think of is that the wear on the printed words was harder with a whole piece in the machine. (But I had washed the samples, not perhaps in a full machine, but with several towels, at the same settings, in the same machine!)
Why did the basket weave areas become more apparent? Is it just size - that everything looks different on a bigger scale?
The next weave of this type has half-transparent plastic in the pockets. The idea is a triple helix, with two plastic pieces in the same pocket where the "helixes" meet. But I abandoned the basket weave...
I made one "worded" set to order. Most of the words were still visible after wet finishing, but I had to replace some. As I had used a mercerized yarn, it was possible to tease the plastic out (and in) without permanently distorting the weave in the pockets.
The coloured plastic is cut from cheap folders, the type that can take about 10 pages without overflowing. It will survive any kind of abuse - washing machine, any kind of iron, sunlight... and by doubling the colours it also becomes educational. (Several people do not want to believe me when I say that there are only 3 colours. They must not have been allowed to play with watercolours?)