Monthly Archives: September 2013

Front Door Curtain

I’ve been meaning to weave a new front door curtain for some time now, and I have earmarked this project for the next one on the loom.  I’d thought a huck lace design to let extra light through, in a natural 20/2 cotton.

Handwoven defines huck as ‘a unit weave with at least six ends and picks in a unit. The unit is divided into half units, and each half unit has an odd number of ends. Three combinations can be woven: plain weave in both half units, plain weave in one half unit alternating with warp floats or weft floats in the other(huck texture or huck), and warp floats in one half-unit alternating with weft floats in the other (huck lace).‘  Where there are warp and weft float blocks are, the threads sort of pull in and clump together making lacy openings in the fabric.

I really like AneJe’s huck lace curtain.  I also like this huck lace pattern from Leclerc.  I also have Huck Lace: The Best of Weaver’s to pore through for design ideas.

While this is a project for the house and not the SCA, there is some evidence for medieval huck weaves, such as the ‘Sluier van Maria‘ (11th or 12th century), I believe they tend to be repeating all-over weaves.  I haven’t seen any medieval evidence for patterning huck lace blocks like we do now, though amagyarjurta discusses an extant patterned gauze weave using leno here.

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About Kemha

The common weaving technique for Ottoman silks was kemha, which is a type of lampas-weave.  Lampas produces a thick, heavy textile, as the woven fabric is essentially two layers joined as one.

Lampas weave as defined by CIETA vocabulary of 1964 is ‘a figured weave in which a pattern, composed of weft floats bound by binding warp, is added to a ground fabric formed by a main warp and a main weft. The ground may be tabby, twill, satin or brocading wefts; they float on the face as required by the pattern, and are bound by the ends of the binding warp in ordinary tabby or twill which is supplementary to the ground weave’.

In less technical terms, lampas consists of two warps (a main warp and a binding warp), and at least two wefts (a main weft, and one or more pattern wefts).  In the non-pattern-weave areas these form two separate layers of cloth, one on top of the other, like doubleweave.  Unlike true doubleweave, the patterned areas interlace with each other to create one layer of cloth.  Note that in this case, the ‘patterned area’ refers to the area of interlacement rather than a design element. In some cases the pattern area actually makes up the ground of the fabric – rather the inverse of what we think of as the pattern.

Kemha, in particular, is defined as compound satin with supplemental twill lampas.  All of the extant examples I’ve seen that offer a close enough view to identify the weave (example 1, example 2) this looks to be the case.  For those who like diagrams, the Weaving Library has a partial draft of a compound satin with supplemental twill lampas and what (I’m guessing) is a picture of the finished textile (even if it’s not the actual textile, the colours match – a red ground with white, blue-green, and orange-pink patterning wefts – so it’s good enough to get an idea).  While kemha commonly utilized metallic threads, there are many examples that do not.

Read more about Silks from Ottoman Turkey at the Met Museum.

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Handwoven Kaftan Planning

I’ve made some progress on the hubby’s kaftan design. The key point of the fabric was to incorporate his badge: Argent, three crescents purpure one and two.  This is the three purple crescents on the white background.  The rest of the design was built around that.

Along with the purple and white, we’ve decided to go with blue and yellow for accent colours.  Blue is another colour in his heraldry, and the yellow added a nice contrast.  I’m doing an ogee pattern, which was a common design motif in 16th century Ottoman fabrics, and using this textile as an inspiration for the filling design.

The design is not complete.  I’d like to add some more filling pattern in the plain white and blue sections.  I have time – I won’t be getting the equipment to actually produce the fabric until next year sometime (at the earliest).  But I’m enjoying the process.


Design in progress

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Green Gown Progress

The main doublet couching and spangling is completed.  Now I just need to add tabs and shoulder wings.



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