For the compound harness samples I’ll be doing things a bit differently. Rather than keep the same sett the same for each weave, I will be using the sett that works best for the textile in question (or should I say, my best guess). The fabrics just won’t look right if I use the same sett I used before. And I’d really like the fabrics to look right, so people can get a better idea of what they are supposed to look like. To start I will still be using the same 8/2 unmercerized cotton. It’s readily available and inexpensive enough I won’t feel terrible if it all goes haywire.
I’ll be using these samples as a way to learn how to use my drawloom, so I expect there will be a fair amount of trial and error.
First off, I need to pick a relatively simple pattern that I can re-use to show the differences in weave. As there are multiple wefts, the concept of dividing the sample into halves using different weft colours doesn’t work. My plan is to divide the sample into thirds, instead. The first third will be two colours plainweave (to show the ground fabrics without figuring, the second will be figured but monochrome to shoe the contrast of the figuring, and the third will be figured and ducochrome showing the full effect.
I’ll use the same pattern for the first batch of samples, and the same thread, and that should hopefully better show the difference in the weave.
I’ve decided to use an all-over design from Il Burato (Paganino, c. 1527), which is probably for lace but it will work. Looking at it, it appears that this repeat of the pattern is 17 high and 10 wide, which seems a good small repeat for a learning exercise.
Planned design, from Il Burato (Paganino, c. 1527)
Here is a link to the documentation for my lampas project.
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.
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
The lampas is off the loom and finished. As you can see it bloomed up nicely with the doubled threads. I made a few mistakes in the patterning, but I am very happy with the piece overall.
I’ve made it into the three colour portion of the weaving. Apart from a few mistakes, I think it’s coming along beautifully.
Polychrome lampas in progress
Some of you my know that my husband and I have agreed that a drawloom is fast becoming financially feasible. With that in mind, I’ve started planning a handwoven Turkish coat for him.
I have a year to plan before I can start weaving, I’m going to be documenting my thoughts and research here as I go.
What I Know So Far:
Doing a scan through most of the textiles with details from this period I can find, it appears that the the most common weave was lampas (kemha) with a satin ground and twill binding. Common colours are red, blue, gold, and white, though I have found extant examples with green and purple. Textiles commonly contained metal threads.
Common design motifs included çintamani (a pattern of three circles arranged in a triangle), wavy stripes, ogees (pointed ovals), and vines. Flowers, such as tulips and carnations, are common.
I managed to save myself some time in warping by tying on my new warp to my old one. I’m doubling the pattern weft with the hopes of it filling in more. I won’t know until it is off the loom and washed.
This is more work than it looks like
It doesn’t look like much, but what you are seeing is the bottom two rows of my pattern (each row is woven twice, so two rows of green weft equals one row in the graph).
My final pattern
The weaving is off the loom and through the wash (delicate, warm, low spin). The wash shrinks up the threads, and shifts them to the place of least resistance. Fabric can completely change appearance and texture after finishing.
Unfortunately, it’s still really hard to photograph well.
This is all 8/2 tencel.
I think for my next sample I’ll double the pattern weft, as that was usually done in a thicker thread and it’s just not filling in enough for full coverage.
I’m only going to do two lampas designs, since they are taking even longer than I anticipated to weave. So, a monochrome and a polychrome (multi-colour).
I’ve decided to do this pattern for the polychrome, probably repeating twice in the width:
From Ostaus, Giovanni. La Vera Perfezione del Disegno, 1561
Recharted and mirrored
The background will be white, with dark green and red, and either yellow or gold for the acorn.
I think it looks very similar to this textile in the bottom left of this picture:
Photo by Glyn Davies
Orphrey (part), silk compound weave, 1400s, German; Interlaced folage and flowers, gold red blue