27 March 2012

The honeymoon is over

One can only weave so long before a warp breaks. Yesterday I had a selvedge break, and today a regular warp broke.

The selvedge telegraphed its intention by stretching over the course of a day or two until the weight was resting on the ground. I used a pair of Navajo warp singles yarns for each selvedge. It's more loosely spun than I like, but it was the best choice I had. So now I know it's going to be troublesome and I can keep an eye out for it. I may wind up having to put some more twist into it to keep its integrity. It is, however, not unspinning itself; those warp weights are remarkably good at staying in place. It probably has something to do with those flat sides that snuggle up against their neighbors.

The regular warp break was due to a rough spot in one of my wooden tools. It caught on one ply of a warp thread and stretched it until it broke. I tried splicing the warp back together, but there wasn't much to work with and so I wound up knotting in a repair section. Luckily, it's on the back of the chiton.

I shall have to work on smoothing that rough spot down before it eats any more warps.

The good news is, I have six inches of woven cloth. That's an eighth of the project. There's a tiny piece of me that never thought I'd get this far, so I'm pretty stoked.

The next task is to even out the warp spacing in the woven cloth before reeling some of it up onto the cloth beam. This is a surprisingly easy task, readily accomplished by the pointed end of just about any tool. (I like the bone needle best for this purpose.) I can even do it with my fingers in the areas near the selvedge. But even if I can't get the warp distributed as evenly as I'd like, I'm not going to worry. Irregularities are inevitable according to what I've read. Particularly, Martin Ciszuk talks about his experience with the occurrence of "denser and more open warp areas" in his reconstructed weaves, just as he says are found on archaeological and ethnographic examples.

No comments:

Post a Comment