Saturday, June 21, 2008

First woven sample

First woven sample
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Finished weaving! Well, this sample, at least. The warp and weft are each woven from one continuous thread (!! I can't believe I actually made that happen with handspun!), on a backstrap loom. The width was 5.75" at the start, finished at 5". Length is 16.75". It took me longer to weave than I thought it would, but I did set it aside for awhile.

This still has the cornstarch sizing in it, and it really would have been a nightmare without it. I expect that once I wash it out, the fabric will collapse on itself, be much smaller and quite stretchy.

Coming back after washing it... Interestingly enough, the sample is now 15" long, and 4.25-5" wide. Looking at it, it makes sense that the length shrunk more, because the warps were closer than the weft. To be fair, I intended this to be 6" wide, but the the lashing technique wasn't stable on the warp beams. It unzipped nicely, though... (snickering at myself here)

I'll have to think about why it didn't collapse... Neither did the knitted sample, but I chalked that up to the smaller gauge needles. I'm pretty surprised. The yarn is stable, not softly spun. Freshly spun, it has lots of twist, and wants to double up. Not radically, but still enough that I thought it would affect the knitted and woven samples much more.

Several years back, I took a weaving class with Eileen Hallman, of New World Textiles, where we wove with commercially spun cotton, but some were specifically overspun for collapse weaving. We experimented with different setts and how that affected the amount of collapse. I really expected my handspun to behave similarly.

Do you suppose it was because I didn't scour the cotton? It still has all the waxes that raw cotton has. hmmm. I think tomorrow morning's experiment will be to boil these samples! No wait, I'm due to go to a knit get-together at Mary G's house, and since that's in Long Beach, I'm adding in side trips to Marukai and Penzey's spices.

I'll keep you posted...


At 5:45 AM , Blogger Janice in GA said...

Very cool! No warp breakage either?

I don't know if the unscoured cotton would make a difference or not. Be interesting to see what happens.

At 12:45 PM , Blogger Romi said...

Cool! I wanna learn to weave.... In my spare time. ;)


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