Sunday, June 3, 2012

Thank you for this discussion of warp.  You mentioned that the classic rule to determine sett does not apply as accurately for wool warp.  When you are using a mix of weft materials is there any good way to determine sett or do you recommend sampling?


  1. Sampling is always a good thing to do, Terri! If you start somewhere and then analyze what happens, you'll be able to better decide what to do next. For instance, with the wool warp sett at 6 epi (which I thought it ought to be based on my wrapping within the centimeter), I was able to weave the piece I had underway by paying close attention to the weft tension and making sure to watch for drifting together of the warps.

    I made significant changes in that particular design so I could stop that tapestry before the problem became worse. Luckily, I was weaving the design in a turned 90˚ orientation so I could end it in a "logical" way.

    I resleyed the warp at 8 epi and wove the next piece successfully. I don't know if you remember two pieces in my Quinlan exhibit--Winter Trees was a small black, white & gray piece--that was the 6 epi use of the wool warp. The Quilt Fall piece was the 8 epi use of that same warp.

    So... sample, sample, sample--same answer as with other kinds of weaving!

  2. Hi Terri and Tommye,

    I also recommend sampling. What really good teacher wouldn't? On the other hand, when I am in the middle of a tapestry and I suddenly think that a renegade weft just might be the best ever solution to a shape, then, I often just put it in. See how it goes for a few shots. The consequence to such behavior is sometimes not a great outcome, but being able to just wade into an idea in the process of weaving is fun for me. A reckless gambler, aren't I? On the other hand, if my idea for a tapestry is really outside the usual "rules" I do indeed sample before I even start the thing. I keep a small frame loom warped and hanging around the studio for emergency sampling.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Pat. When you say, "...I often just put it in. Se how it goes for a few shots." That's a great way to do it... and always knowing you can take it out again. Seeing something in the context of where you'd want it makes a lot of sense.
      And, about a small loom warped to sample on... I've also done that. And I was very impressed to see that Archie Brennan had a sampling area along side a warp of a tapestry he was working on at Penland. The strip of sampling area was maybe 1 1/2" wide. I've got a photo of that and might scan and post that at some point when we're talking more about process and decision making.