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)


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?


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 - .


Laura Fry said...

Pretty fabric. Interesting what can be done with colour changes and spaced/cramming threads? I would assume that the spacing was done in the reed, not the picking, but who can tell, once it's off the loom? Always sometime more to learn. :) Hej to your mom.

Karen Reff said...

Is it possible that the color were printed onto the cloth After it was woven? A lot of factory produced cloth is made that way.

Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

Karen, I don't think so - partly because all colour lines follow the threads. (As opposed to the shirts pictured here...)
Also, even when old, printed fabrics tend to have a different hand.

And Laura: I have delivered the "hej" - she sends you one back!

Unknown said...

Could it be double weave?