Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Bad Selvedge

I still seem to struggle with the edge threads getting loose, and then the draw-in starts and the threads break.  It's part of the reason I don't put on very long warps.  It seems that the longer the warp, the more I have trouble with the edges. 

The towels that I have been working on have been fun, since there are so many color possibilities.

This towel was woven with a thick/thin yarn I picked up at an estate sale.  Hope it holds up--I think it is cotton, but don't know for sure.  I will know better after I wash it.

The towel I just finished last night is woven with several colors of yellow, orange and peachy pink, using up more of my leftover dyed yarns.  I like it, but started to have trouble with the selvedge on one side.  I know it was a tension thing, because it started to "smile" and draw in too much.  I was glad to finish it, so I could spread the warp out again.  Before I start the next, and maybe last towel, I will put some more weight on that side.  I'm starting to get bored with this project and am ready to come up with something new.  

One idea is to use some linen that I also picked up at the estate sale last summer.  I think a variety of lace weave towels or placemats would be nice.  I especially like the look of Atwater-Bronson lace, with the single cross in the hole.

My second idea, and I can do both if I want, is to start a few rag rugs for my bathroom and entryway.  I have the loom best for rugs empty right now, and the multicolor warp will be finished soon, so I could use that loom for the linen.


  1. Your towel looks lovely, I love the colors and the patterns! Beaming with an even tension is sometimes hard to do and it can cause some warp ends to be looser than others. You might want to try using a floating selvedge where the last warp end on each side is not threaded through the heddles and you can hang a weight from it near the back. When you weave you throw the shuttle over it and it comes out under the floating selvedge at the other end. You might also try using a temple (stretcher).

    Eva :)

  2. Beautiful colours and I love the way the various colours work with your threading. Is this something you plan in advance?

  3. Thank you Eva and Judy. Judy, you asked if I plan the colors in advance and the answer is yes in the warp. If you look back at my blog to Jan. 1, you can see the photo of my loom with the start of a new warp being tied on to the old one. Each individual bundle was measured on the warping board seperately and then tied on. There was a lot of basketweave interspersed with the rosepath and twill threadings. I had a big pile of my dyeing remenants, and just started mixing and matching, taking into consideration what colors were going to be side by side. I tried to space out the stand-out colors, so it was pretty time consuming. The one good thing about tying a new warp to an old one was that I didn't have to preserve a cross, since each bundle was a small number of ends. I don't think any of them were more than 16 ends, and most were less than that, so I just looked at my threading plan and decided how many ends I needed of each color. They weren't measured in threading order.

    Eva, thanks for the suggestions. This was the first towel I had trouble with on this long warp, and I'm pretty sure is was due to using paper, rather than sticks on the back beam. I think it was easier for the warp threads close to the edge to slip off the "stack" below it, thus making it looser as I wove. My floating selvedges were weighted seperately, my temple did a great job of keeping my edges even, and I accomplished my goal of not messing with the edges. Laura Fry mentioned on her blog about using sticks on the cloth beam if the width is a little different. I think that is what I need to do now, since I spread the warp out again. There is probably only 2 more towels to go on the warp. Check out my makeshift paperclip temple in one of my earlier in January entries. It worked great.

  4. I'm just headed upstairs to start on my next set of towels and wanted to look at yours one more time for ideas. So far I've only woven about a half dozen sets and each one is a learning experience. They are so much fun, but I'm starting to repeat myself. Lucky me that you have so many ideas that I can draw on.