Posts Tagged With: study

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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Samite Research

What is Samite?

Silk; Samit weave. Iran or Central Asia, Sogdiana, 8th century.   © 2014 The Cleveland Museum of Art. All rights reserved. (http://www.clevelandart.org/art/1996.2.1)

Silk; Samit weave. Iran or Central Asia, Sogdiana, 8th century.
© 2014 The Cleveland Museum of Art. All rights reserved. (http://www.clevelandart.org/art/1996.2.1)

Samite (samit, samitum) belongs to a category of fabrics called compound weaves.  Any type of woven structure which involves more than two elements is a compound weave (two or more warps and/or wefts).

More specifically, samite is weft-faced compound twill weave.  The textile uses a main warp, binding warp, and a weft composed of two or more series of threads.  These weft threads work in combination to produce one weft pick on the face of the cloth. The other or others are kept to the reverse. The ends of the binding warp bind the weft in passes, and the ground and the pattern are formed simultaneously. The entire surface is covered by weft floats, which hide the main warp ends.  From the front, samite looks like a weft-dominant twill weave.

compound-twill

Samite: showing face and side-view of the weave.

Where/When was Samite Produced?

Use of this weave was very common for a long part of the medieval period, and from early on was the primary weave for polychrome silk textiles.  It is believed this weave originated in Sassanian  Persia no later that the beginning of the 7th century C.E.  It is commonly associated with Byzantine silks, as the greater part of these were woven in samite until the 11th century.  This is true for almost all of the Mediterranean areas.  Burials at Birka and Oseberg contain thin strips of samite silk, which is not surprising given Norse contact with Byzantium.  Samite remained popular in North-Western Europe throughout the 13th century.

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Taqueté Research

What is Taqueté?

Pattern woven wool, taqueté. 3rd-5th century. China

Taqueté belongs to a category of fabrics called compound weaves.  Any type of woven structure which involves more than two elements is a compound weave (two or more warps and/or wefts).

More specifically, taqueté is weft-faced compound tabby weave.  The textile uses a main warp, binding warp, and a weft composed of two or more series of threads.  These weft threads work in combination to produce one weft pick on the face of the cloth. The other or others are kept to the reverse. The ends of the binding warp bind the weft in passes, and the ground and the pattern are formed simultaneously. The entire surface is covered by weft floats, which hide the main warp ends.   From the front, taqueté looks like a weft-dominant tabby weave.

compound-tabby

Taqueté: showing face and side-view of the weave.

Where/When was Taqueté Produced?

Taqueté was probably one the earliest compound weaves produced, and appears throughout history.  I can’t give a full account of where and when it was woven and worn, but here are some notes.

  • Believed to have evolved from Chinese jin silk (warp-faced compound tabby) which was known in Han Dynasty China (206 B.C.E. – 221 C.E.).
  • Near East (Roman): 1st century C.E., though likely earlier, in wool. 4th C.E. century in silk.
  • By the 10th or 1th century weft-faced compound weaves began to be replaced by lampas weave, which was more efficient to produce.
  • Several fragments exist from 13th century Spain.
  • Produced in Ottoman Turkey (where it was known as seraser), where it was usually woven with metallic threads.

Silk, metal wrapped thread; taqueté (seraser). First half 16th century. Turkey, probably Istanbul.

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Lampas In Progress

The loom is warped using the plan described in a previous post.  I added an extra treadle sequence to lower 1 and 2 (the binding warps) to make pick up easier.  This system uses pick up sticks to maintain the pattern while the binding warp is raised.

warp

The shuttle needs to go through the small opening – this is the pattern plus the binding warps.

I’m doing 2 pattern repeats, -1 to even them out, an inch of ‘plain weave’ on either side.  I’m adding another binding warp on the far end to balance the fabric.

So far it’s coming along nicely. I can’t really see the design, but I’m hoping that will show up much better with wet finishing – this is often the case with textured textiles.

progress

Weaving so far. This took 20 minutes. I hope I get faster – I expect I will.

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Threading the Heddles

I find this to be the most tedious part of weaving.

13 inches with 48 threads per inch means 624 + 4 (to center the pattern) gives me 628 threads.  Each thread needs to be threaded into the eye of one heddle, in a pattern.

Threading

1/4 of the way done.

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Lampas – Weaving Draft Explained

I have had a request for more information about my lampas weave setup.  Like with anything, diagrams explain more than text, so I’ve sketched up a draft of what I mean.  This is the backside of the fabric, which shows more information about the fabric that the front.  When weaving, I will reverse the tie-up (rising become falling, and vise versa) to put more threads on the bottom (3 vs 1) so the shuttle is less likely to fall through.  Also, I prefer weaving face-up.

lampas_draft

This is the draft I am using for my lampas.
This has been reversed to show the backside, which gives more information about the fabric.

A: The pattern.  

This is the charted pattern that I am weaving.  Blue represents the pattern, and white is the background.  Each square is equal to four warp ends and four weft picks.  This is reversed in the drawdown, because it shows the back of the fabric.

B: The tie up

The threading is a repeat of 3,4,3,2,4,3,4,1.

C: The treadle tie up

This is how I am tying up my treadles.  O is a raising shaft, X is falling.  Black means no tie up (the warp will stay in the middle of the shed).

This is the key to my theory.  On the pattern (blue) weft picks, half of the black threads will rise, and half will lower.  The red threads will stay in the middle of the shed, grouped in threes.  I will then manually pick out the pattern in the red weft.  The black threads act as the tabby warp for the (blue) pattern weft.

D: The treadling pattern

This is treadled in the following repeat:

  • Pattern1: 2 down, 1 up, 3+4 centre
  • Ground1: 1, 2, 3 up, 4 down
  • Pattern2: 1 down, 2 up, 3+4 centre
  • Ground2: 1, 2, 4 up, 3 down.

E: The threading colors

These are for illustrative purposes, and do not represent the colours I will actually use to weave my design.

Red = ground warp
Black = binding warp
White = ground weft
Blue = pattern weft

F: The drawdown

If you think about double weave, you are weaving two layers of fabric at the same time.   Red and white threads represent the ground layer, and blue and black represent the pattern layer.

On the left-side of the drawdown the two layers do not interlace and a true doubleweave fabric is produced.  On the right-hand side (where the blue pattern threads are visible on the front) the key to notice is the little blue dots.  The black binding warp (which is the warp for the pattern layer of doubleweave cloth) goes through both layers of fabric, binding them together into one.

Lampas Textile from book: Pattern and Loom

Image – Lampas Textile from book: Pattern and Loom page 171 (image has been cropped).
The face is shown on the left. The backside is on the right side, showing the doubleweave.

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Lampas – Loom Setup Trials

Since I’m having a hard time visualizing my proposed setup, I am doing a small test swatch to confirm my understanding before starting the real project.

So, I’ve threaded 40 ends of cotton at 40 epi for a 1 inch band.  I’m using 40 epi rather than the 48 for tencel, since tencel should be set tighter than cotton.

The loom uses shafts 1 and 2 for the binding warp, and 3 and 4 for the ground.  It will be threaded in a repeat of 3,4,3,2,4,3,4,1.

It will be treadled in the following repeat:

  • B1: 2 up, 1 down, 3+4 centre
  • G1: 1, 2, 3 down, 4 up
  • B2: 1 up, 2 down, 3+4 centre
  • G2: 1, 2, 4 down, 3 up.

I tested my theory using the color coded threads they used in Pattern and Loom. Red for the ground warp, black for the binding. White for the ground weft, blue for the pattern.

It worked as intended.  The background separated into a doubleweave while the pattern weave merged into one fabric (you can see black stripes going over the white threads on the back, look at the top center of the bottom photo).

Lampas_Front

Lampas test front

Lampas_Back

Lampas test back

So now all I need to do is draft out my pattern more clearly, and wait for my 12 dent reed to arrive before I can actually start my project.

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Lampas – Loom Setup Theory

In ‘Pattern and Loom’, John Becker proposes a way to weave lampas with a pick-up technique on a four-shaft loom as a doubleweave set-up.  When a pattern row turns up in the draft, a fifth patterning treadle is used to lift the whole of the main warp.  The pattern is then picked out with a shed stick.  The stick is held flat against the reed while the treadle for one of the binding warps is raised.  A new shed stick is inserted behind the reed.  The end result is a shed that consists of  the pattern and one half of the binding warps. The pick is thrown and the stick is removed.

I have decided to alter his method to take advantage of my countermarche loom.  Instead of raising the main warp threads, I will raise half of the binding warp and lower the other half (as for a normal tabby weave).  This leaves the main warp suspended in the middle of the shed.  I then use a tapestry bobbin to thread my pattern warp through the main shed.  This also results in a weft that goes above all of the patterned area of the main warp and one half of the binding threads, as above, but without the use of the two shed sticks.  This method of weaving pick up would not be possible on a jack loom (which is the more common type found in North America).

The loom will use shafts 1 and 2 for the binding warp, and 3 and 4 for the ground.

It will be threaded in a repeat of 3,4,3,2,4,3,4,1.

It will be treadled in the following repeat:

  • P1: 2 up, 1 down, 3+4 centre
  • G1: 1, 2, 3 down, 4 up
  • P2: 1 up, 2 down, 3+4 centre
  • G2: 1, 2, 4 down, 3 up.

I plan to use sett of 24 epi per side (a common plain weave sett for 8/2 tencel), doubled for 48 epi in total.

Since this is a theory, I plan to do a small warp in cotton to test the weave structure before warping up for my project.

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Lampas Design #2 (Duochrome)

I ordered a bunch of red and white tencel  I thought I would do my samples in Ealdormerean colours.

For my duochrome (two color) lampas weave, I like this pattern.  I was thinking red on white, much like this velvet.

Modeulbuch

From La Vera Perfettione del Disegno, compiled by Kathryn Newall

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Lampas – My Plan

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.

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