Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Four selvedge weave, yet again

I'm continuing my exploration of four selvedge warping by setting up a warp each day and weaving it off.  So far, in addition to the 1" wide sample from the last post, I've done five small tapestries (four are shown below--today's is pinned down to dry after being washed).  The sizes range from 1 3/4" wide x 7" high to about 2 3/4" w x 4" h.   I'm doing very simplified land/sky things and by making the pieces small I can weave the entire piece in just a few hours time, take it off the loom and then wash it.  Although I don't always wash tapestry pieces, I decided to do so with these since they're so small and the twist of the seine twine was making the little piece twist, as well.  So I'm washing and pressing them, then leaving them to dry while pinned to the ironing board.

I'm now using 12/6 cotton seine twine in a color for the weaving warp. The 12/6 is small enough that when it doubles for the weaving the sett becomes 8 epi.  For the scaffolding warp I'm using 12/12 seine twine, and it goes on at 12 epi.  I wrap the bottom with 12/18 seine twine; I found that having a slightly heavier warp for the bottom helps keep the spacing the way I want it. The weft is from my scraps of assorted wools, and I'm finding that the softer 20/2 wool or the Victorian tapestry wool is working well at 5 strands per bobbin.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

more on the four selvedge adventure

OK... so I tried it again today.  Calmly and methodically.  And... IT WORKED!  You know how it is when you sleep on it?  Right?  Trying to learn a new skill and the first time around, even through your mind knows what's what, your hands don't quite get it yet... can you relate to that?  So after getting to the studio today I undid the screw up I made yesterday (thank goodness I followed Susan's advice in the DVD and only had warp of about an inch wide in place).

Here are photos of today's adventure in this process, one I hope to become adept with in the very near future.  The progress today was encouraging!

The warp is in place; the scaffolding bar hasn't yet been removed

The scaffolding bar is removed and two shed sticks are in place near the top of the loom.  One is for the open shed; the other shed is finger picked in this narrow warp.  For something wider, leashes could be set up.  The note and arrow on the photo are pointing to the weaving area of the warp.

Here's a detail of the weaving area.  The loops are seen at the top and the loops, plus the wrapping of the third warp for spacer is seen at the bottom.

Shed sticks are in place; see how two warps are used as one.

The doubled warps created by the warping process act as a single warp in the weaving.

As the weaving progressess the two warps are combining to make a sett of about 6 epi.  I'm using three strands of 2-ply wool as weft.

When the top of the loops is reached more weft needs to be packed in so the loops will be as close as possible to the weaving when it's off the loom.

The last bit of the weft gets threaded through the top of the loops with a needle, then the tail is passed down into the weaving to hide it.

Slipping out the upper warp.  
Here's the top; I could have squeezed a pass or two more in before taking the needle through--that would have allowed the weft to schooch closer to the top.  Also, if the weft had been softer it would have filled in more.  

The lower area of the weaving had two warp ends that were tied to the third warp to secure them together.  When finished these get needle woven into the channel of the warp beside them...

... as I'm doing here.  The end then gets clipped off.

Here's the little piece... the diagrams are from Susan & Archie's website at this link.
More to come in the next few days as I learn more about this way of warping.  

Four selvedge weave adventure

I'm trying four selvedge warping using Susan Maffei's directions shown in the DVD and also her written instructions that are available at the Brennan & Maffei website.  I'll have to say that I mucked it up yesterday on my first attempt!  I'll empty the loom and give it another go today.

I want to learn this process since I know it will be a beautiful way to work with small pieces and not have to deal with warp ends afterwards.  I was introduced to the method when in the Penland concentration with Archie and Susan a decade ago.  But I haven't used the technique since then.  I know what needs to happen to set it up right, I can see and hear Susan doing it on the DVD, I read and re-read the instructions--now, just have to get the motor control and the understanding of the process working together!