Posts Tagged With: taqueté

Sampler Planning: Compound Harness Weaves

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)

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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.


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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