Weaving

Weave Sample: Weft-Faced Compound Twill

Usually referred to as samite (or sometimes samitum).

In this sample I tested several styles of samite. From the bottom up, we have:

  • Plain (unfigured) samite
  • Duochrome figured samite (1-2-2-1 weft order)
  • Duochrome figured samite (1-2-1-2 weft order)
  • Monochrome figured samite (1-2-2-1 weft order)
  • Monochrome figured samite (1-2-1-2 weft order)
Samite

Weft-Faced Compound Twill

When and where can this textile be found?

  • Roman-Era Egypt (1st century to mid-3rd century) in wool [1].
  • 9th – early 10th century Pomerania in silk [3].
  • Late 9th – 10th century England in silk [2].

[1] Taqueté and Damask from Mons Claudianus: A Discussion of Roman Looms for Patterned Textiles by Martin Ciszuk (in Purpureae Vestes)
[2] Late Saxon Textiles from the City of London by Frances Pritchard
[3] Fabrics in Medieval Dress in Pomerania by Ann Rybarczyk

 

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Skjoldehamn Garb – Finding the Right Yarns

I am not a spinner.  Even if I was I haven’t had the time to learn to do it well – certainly not well enough to even contemplate it for a project of this magnitude.  So, one of the first steps I will need to tackle is finding a commercial supplier of a ‘close enough’ yarn for the project.  So, lets talk about what who know about the yarns used in the extant pieces that I plan (for sure) on weaving – the coloured striped fabric, and the kirtle fabric.

All fabrics used in the garments, with the exception of breast flap and the collar of the shirt (the coloured striped bits), is 2/2 twill weave wool.  The coloured striped fabric is a weft-faced 2/1 twill weave wool.  Both have a Z-spun warp and a S-spun weft.

Hood

  • On the body and the back gore there is a strip of lighter-coloured weft.
  • Woven with two shuttles, except in the lighter weft stripe.
  • Warp contain highly pigmented wools.  Would likely have been dark grey.
  • Weft contains from white to medium pigmented wool.Would likely have been from grey to light grey.
  • EPI (main): 9.4/cm =~ 24
  • EPI (front/back gores): 10.5 & 10/cm =~ 26
  • PPI (main): 6.9/cm =~ 17.5
  • PPI (front/back gores): 7.3 & 7.5 /cm =~ 19
  • Warp diameter: 0.8 mm
  • Weft diameter: 1-1.2 mm

Kirtle

  • Two warp yarns, one lighter/thinner.  Dark warp contains come white wool blended with much darker fibres.  Lighter warp is white wool to white mixed with darker fibres.  The colour difference is believed to have been obscured by light felting and appearing light grey in colour.
  • Two weft yarns, with significant variation in size. Weft is white to medium pigmented wool (light grey to grey).
  • Pigment source is unknown, likely natural to the wool.
  • EPI (main – light warp): 10 – 10.9/cm =~ 25-27
  • EPI (main – dark warp): 6.5-6.7/cm =~ 16.7-17
  • EPI (sleeves/gores – light warp): 10.2 – 12/cm =~ 25-30
  • EPI (sleeves/gores – dark warp): 10.8-12.4/cm =~ 27-31
  • EPI (red collar): 11/cm =~ 28
  • PPI: 6-7.4/cm =~ 15-19
  • PPI (red collar): 7.2/cm =~18
  • Warp diameter (light): 0.80 mm
  • Warp diameter (dark): 0.72 mm
  • Weft diameter: 0.9mm / 1.37 mm

Striped Fabric

  • Weave: 2/1 (weft-dominant) twill
  • EPI: 14.5/cm =~ 37
  • PPI (red/green): 8.2/cm =~ 21
  • PPI (gold): 21.3/cm =~ 54
  • PPI (green): 27.2/cm =~ 69
  • Warp diameter (warp is green): 0.56 mm
  • Weft diameter (red): 0.73 mm
  • Weft diameter (green in green-red): 0.90 mm
  • Weft diameter (green): 0.46 mm
  • Weft diameter (gold): 0.64 mm

Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be able to find this much variety in commercial yarns.  Over the next while I’ll be ordering some samples to test with.

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Weave Sample: Float Patterned Twill #1

This sample is based on a float-patterned twill found in Jorvik (no. 1336).  It is worked on a 2/1 base, but with a floating warp/weft* at every third passage. These floating wefts occur in two different arrangements, three picks of one and then three picks of the other.

* It is undetermined if this is actually a warp-float or a weft-float patterned textile.  Penelope Walton Rogers drafted this textile with weft-floats, pointing out that as a weft-float patterned twill the weave would require only four sheds, assuming that each shed is tied to a heddle rod.  If instead each thread was only tied to a single heddle rod, and multiple rods were lifted, then a warp-float textile becomes more likely, as there is no evidence of warp-weighted looms with five heddle rods.

Regardless, I’ve chosen to weave this with warp floats, for the convenience of threading four shafts instead of five.

WarpFloatJorvik1336

Float Patterned Twill (Jorvik 1336)


Weaving Draft

Jorvik1336

Float Patterned Twill (Jorvik 1336) draft


When and where can this textile be found?

  • 10th century (Anglo-Scandinavian) England in linen [1].

[1] Textiles, Cordage and Raw Fibre from 16-22 Coppergate by Penelope Walton

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Jorvik 1336 Towels

Towels based on a 10th century Anglo-Scandanavian float-patterned twill found in Jorvik (no. 1336).  It is worked on a 2/1 base, but with a floating warp/weft* at every third passage. These floating wefts occur in two different arrangements, three picks of one and then three picks of the other.

* It is undetermined if this is actually a warp-float or a weft-float patterned textile.  Penelope Walton Rogers drafted this textile with weft-floats, pointing out that as a weft-float patterned twill the weave would require only four sheds, assuming that each shed is tied to a heddle rod.  If instead each thread was only tied to a single heddle rod, and multiple rods were lifted, then a warp-float textile becomes more likely, as there is no evidence of warp-weighted looms with five heddle rods.

Regardless, I’ve chosen to weave this with warp floats, for the convenience of threading four shafts instead of five.

Jorvik 1336

The completed towels

Jorvik 1336

Front close up

Jorvik 1336

Back Close up

 

Yarn 8/2 unmercerized cotton
Draft Jorvik 1336
Sett 20 epi
Ends 440
Length 3.6 yds
Warp 1584 yards (7.5 ounces)
Weft 1039.5 yards (5 ounces)

 

 

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Weaving for a Queen

I’ve been asked to do a small weaving project for our Queen for her step-down. I haven’t been asked to do any projects for royalty before, and it’s an exciting prospect.

This project is a front panel for an apron dress, appropriate for a 9th century Norsewoman in England.

Doing some digging, I found a draft from excavations in London dating to the late 9th/early 10th century for a wool broken lozenge twill with narrow reversals in the warp, and longer reversals in the weft. The original was undyed white sheep with 11 threads/cm in the warp, and 10 threads/cm. in the weft. I tried to find a yarn that would give me close to these results, but I’ve chosen to do it in ‘brown sheep’ and ‘white sheep’ to make the pattern stand out. This is woven out of some 2/8 Jaggerspun Heather I had set aside (edelweiss and brindle). While uncommon, textiles with contrasting warp/weft yarns have been found in Scandinavian (or Scandinavian-occupied) sited during this era. The extant textile had a reversal every 10 warp threads and every 41/33 weft picks. My weaving does the same.

Draft 2/2 broken lozenge twill
Sett 20 epi
Ends 390
Length 2.5 yds
Warp 975 yds (7 oz)
Weft 500.5 yds (3.6 oz)
Broken Lozenge Twill

Computer-generated drawdown

Untitled

Completed fabric

Once completed, I added a tabletwoven border using the warp as weft to one end to mimic the starting band on a warp weighted loom.

Tablet woven end

Tabletweaving

The selvedges didn’t turn out well on this piece. I had been futzing with a tubular selvedge that didn’t work, and the wool was very grabby. To reinforce the edges I did a small rolled hem along the selvedge instead, and then hemmed the bottom.

And here it is all finished.

After finishing, I ended up with a thread count of 10 threads/cm. in the warp, and 9 threads/cm. in the weft. So, pretty close to the original.

Panel

Full panel

Panel_detail

Detail showing tabletwoven top and brooch loops.

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Little Trees Baby Blanket

With some happy news from a friend, next on the loom was a handwoven baby blanket.  Final size, 40″ x 30″.

Untitled

Baby blanket

Yarn Bernat Softee Baby: Little Trees
Draft Plainweave
Sett 10 epi
Ends 400 ends
Length 2 yards
Warp  800 yards
Weft 444.4 yards
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Blue and Yellow Wickelbander

Finally got around to hemming and photographing my latest set of wickelbander.  I finished these ages ago.

Wickelbander

Wickelbander

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Weave Sample: Damask (5-shaft Satin)

Oh look, I’m weaving my samples out of order. This is damask on a 5-shaft satin, which is the most common type of damask from the 15th century onwards1.

Damask

5-shaft satin damask


[1] Pattern and Loom, by John Becker

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Warping the Drawloom

I few people have asked to see the steps needed when warping the drawloom compared to doing it without the drawloom attachment.

1) Adding the loom extension

The second set of harnesses requires more space, so the back beam needs to be extended.

loom extension

The new back posts are extendable much further, but this is all I need for now.

2) Winding the warp

The goal here is to produce many lengths of yarn that are all exactly the same length. Using a warping board, I wind the threads back and forth. Near the top, I create a cross – this keeps all the threads in order. I do this in batches, so the warp doesn’t slip off the pegs. When removing the warp from the frame, I first add ties to preserve the cross and then wind the length into a basic crochet chain to keep things from tangling.

Winding the warp

Warp on the warping board

3) Presleying the reed

Rather than using a raddle, the process uses the reed to ensure that the warp is spaced correctly before winding it on the beam.

Prereeding

I forgot to take a picture of this, so I’m using an old one.

4) Beaming the warp

The warp is attached to the back beam while still threaded through the reed and lease sticks. This is made easy by the fact that the ends here are all loops – I just thread the stick through the loops and attach it to the warp beam. The warp then goes over the back beam, through the lease sticks, through the reed, and over the breast beam, around the foot beam, and up over the warping trapeze. This step requires an additional person, or a warping trapeze, to provide tension on the warp while it is being wound.

Beamed warp

Here the warp is fully beamed (wound around the back beam)

5) Mount the drawloom apparatus and thread the cords

The shaft drawloom apparatus sits on top of the loom.  The cords are threaded, but the shafts are not yet attached.

Drawloom apparatus

Shaft drawloom

6) Pre-weighting the pattern heddles

The pattern heddles are weighted by unit. I am separate them into units and adding a lingo (‘U’-shaped weight) to each grouping – here, five-heddles per weight, grouped in bunches of ten for counting.  I’m using the front beam just because it’s a convenient place to hang them.

Pre-weighting the pattern heddles

Weighted pattern heddles

7) Threading the pattern heddles

Which warp threads go in the pattern heddles varies by weave.

Threading the pattern heddles

Pattern heddles half threaded.

8) Threading the ground weave heddles

Next we thread the warp through the ground weave.  Again, which warp threads go in the pattern heddles varies by weave.

Threading the ground weave heddles

Ground heddles half threaded.

9) Sleying the reed and tying up

The reed is threaded (or sleyed) in order to achieve a particular number of threads per inch. The sett of this yarn is 28 ends per inch. The lease sticks are removed and the warp is then attached to the front cloth beam with as even tension as possible.

Sleying the reed and tying up

Warp is all threaded and tied up.

10) Countermarche tie-up

The countermarche controls the raising and lowering of the ground shafts. The treadles are threaded as needed for the ground weave.

Lamms-Treadles

Treadles.

11) Attaching the pattern shafts

The pattern shafts are moved into place and connected to the drawloom apparatus.

Attaching the drawloom shafts

Drawloom shafts.

12) Ready to weave

Ready to weave

Here we go!

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Damask Research

What is Damask?

Silk; damask weave. Italy ca. 1550.

Damask  weave as defined by CIETA vocabulary is a figured textile with one warp and one weft in which the pattern is formed by a contrast of binding systems. In its classic form, it is reversible, and the contrast is produced by the use of the warp and weft faces of the same weave. By extension, two distinct binding systems may also be employed.

Where/When was Damask Produced?

It is debated whether damask originated in China or Syria.  Wherever it originated, the earliest extant damask textiles were from Palmyra and were woven before 276 C.E.  They are believed to be of Chinese origin.  Examples of  3/1 – 1/3 twill block damasks have been found throughout second to fourth century Europe, and is believed to be of Roman origin.  Damask was considered to be one of the five main weaves of Byzantine and Islamic centres.  Damask weaving was becoming scarce by the 8th or 9th centuries, except for Islamic Spain, but was revived in some places in the 13th century.  By the 14th century, damask weaving was found in Italy.  Damask linen tablecloths and napkins were very popular in the 16th century in northern Europe

Silk damask. China, 200-400 C.E.

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