Posts Tagged With: polychrome pick-up lampas
As I do not have a drawloom, I have decided to experiment with a pick-up technique to mimic the figure harness. This slows down the weaving process considerably, but gives almost complete freedom in the design of the figured pattern. In order to further mimic a drawloom, I will graph my designs.
These samples are to be woven in 8/2 tencel. Tencel is a cellulose fibre that has a similar shine and dye-absorption to silk, but is considerably cheaper. This thread is also much thicker than that used in extant textiles, but is what was readily available. The thicker thread should also help show the interlacement of the threads more clearly.
My goal is to complete three lampas weave samples, a monochrome, a duochrome, and a polychrome example of lampas.
The samples will be approximately 12 inches wide by 12 inches tall.
What is Lampas?
Lampas belongs to that category of fabrics that is often lumped into what most people would call a ‘brocade’ fabric. While it is similar, to the weaver there are some definite technical differences.
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 more general 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. This is shown in figure x, below. 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.
Where/When was Lampas Produced?
Lampas developed in Central Asia in the 10th century CE, and had reached Islamic Spain by the 12th c. CE. By the 13th century, Lampas-weave had become became the dominant technique for the figured silks woven in Italy. These particular silks are often described as diasper – lampas in which the pattern weave forms the pattern, on a background of doubleweave cloth.
It is generally assumed that the development of lampas is concurrent with the development of drawloom technology. This would allow complex patterns to be woven with significantly less manipulation of the pattern harness, making large-scale production more feasible.
Lampas-weave is often associated with the silk industry. This is not surprising, since such a complex fabric would commonly be woven in expensive materials such as silk and metal threads. There are also, however, many extant examples of lampas woven with a linen main ground, and wool pattern wefts.