Saturday, 18 April 2015

Plain Weave Frivolities Acadian Style with Judith

Today was the Plain Weave workshop with Judith Rygiel.  Judith has a doctorate in history and did a major post doc study of Acadian Textiles several years ago.  This led her to studying Cajun textiles in Louisiana which she is still working on.  Today she had us try several traditional techniques based on simple plain weave.  I used my Rigid Heddle loom of course!  I warped it last Sunday with 2/8 cotton in two heddles for a sett of 20epi.

Here are my samples from today:

This is Cordons in Weft.  Pretty simple, you insert shots of a heavier weft as it strikes your fancy.  Often it was done white on white.

Cordons in Weft
 I am a geek, yes I am.  This is my iPad open to the Goodnotes notebook page where I took notes on the next sample:

The sample was "Twisted Weft" where you have two weft shots twisting around one another in the same shed.  It creates very interesting chevron effects, and you can use different weights of weft for different effects.  Nancy did one with a strand of 2/8 and a strand of 8/8 that was really neat.  The iPad means that maybe I'll be able to find my notes when I want them!  It also lets me take a picture and write right on the picture.  Here's the sample by itself (sorry it's rotated, the warp is running left to right):

Next was Boutonne.  For this one, heavier weft shots get picked up between warp threads and twisted into little loops.  Shots of the finer weft hold it in.  There is usually a pattern to the loop placement.  Judith showed us a blanket made in Quebec of wool with inlaid Boutonne in snowflake patterns.

Judith almost didn't include this, until we pleaded and she ran down to Eco Equitable and bought some cotton fabric so we could try it.  We were all very interested in Catalogne (Rags).  The left stripe is Twisted Catalogne - 2 rags twisted together in the shed, middle is alternating rag and 2/8 weft, right is just rag weft.  I like the middle and left ones best:  

Then we tried Cordons in warp and weft.  This meant adding heavier supplementary warp threads to the piece.  Traditionally this is most often white on white, but we decided to play with colours.  The raspberry and blue are 8/8, the 2 heavy natural are 16/8 mop cotton and at the far left is natural 8/8.  I wound the extra yarns on a pick up stick to hang off the back of the loom.  It worked okay for a short sample.  They started out pinned into the green section until the weft held them securely.  The last stripe is weft cordon with boutonne.

The 4 of us had a wonderful time today, thanks to Judith who is a patient and knowledgeable teacher.  I learned more than just plain weave variations.  In the middle of the Catalogne section I ran into some tangled warp threads (I have no idea how I managed that).  Sam came to my aid and was rewarded by the radiant heat of my sudden hot flash.  (Why do I not get hot flashes when it's cold?  Why must they wait until the temperature is just nice then sneak up and try to cook me AND my unsuspecting friends?)  When we had to break two of the threads Judith came and showed me how to repair them by pinning one end of a repair strand into the fabric and carefully tying the other end to the broken thread.

I still have a good bit of warp to work with.  Stay tuned.  I have some neat ideas to try.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like fun and you now have yet more ideas to experiment with. I must try some of these.