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.

1 comment:

Cally said...

Hear, hear! And I quite like that puckering effect.