There are many types of curves that can be designed with network drafting. I imagined one or more waves with ripples and curved shapes in between, some symmetrical and some not so symmetrical. The overall effect could be subdued by varying color, yarn size and sett. I’ve seen beautiful weaving with just one wave across undulating vertically down, but I was interested in weaving something more elaborate.
I went ahead and designed many networked drafts, easily done with weaving software, cutting/copying and pasting sections of the threading to my liking. Lots of fun! I really liked one or two drafts that looked elaborate enough on only 8 shafts and so decided to weave a few yards of fabric and a couple of scarves using various yarn types and sizes. Here are photos, drafts and notes of this weaving adventure:
Network Drafted Woven Fabric and Scarf
To weave this fabric, I used 20/2 unmercerized black cotton for warp and 20/2 natural pearl cotton for weft, sett at 42 epi and about the same ppi. The woven design is a variation of the one shown in Networked Draft 1 above, as I ended up expanding the threading so it would be 24 inches wide when finished. The fabric was wet finished washing by hand but it could have been put in the washing machine on gentle and was air dried and steam ironed while slightly damp. The 4 yards of finished fabric have a nice hand and drape with a bit of luster from the pearl cotton that I didn’t quite capture in the photo above. What to make with this fabric? Maybe a jazzy little vest or jacket.
The threading is too long to read well in a small image so I’m trying something new: here’s a PDF file of the Threading & Treadling for Networked Draft 1 that’s readable with numbers for weavers who would like to try weaving a project with this design. You can take one section or more of the threading and experiment with it. When cutting/copying and pasting you may need to make small adjustments for a smooth transition between sections. I can also send the WIF file to anyone who requests it, just let me know.
You may notice that the draft for this purple scarf is a section taken from Networked Draft 1. Because I used a thicker yarn this time, 5/2 pearl cotton for warp and weft at a wider sett of 20 epi and about 20 ppi, the pattern in the scarf as compared to the one in the fabric appears magnified. There’s little contrast between the black warp and purple weft because they are close in value, both colors are dark, and so the overall effect is subdued.
Although the longest float is only 3, I used a floating selvedge for a neater edge. Wet finishing is the same as for the fabric. The finished scarf has a heavier hand than the fabric but still drapes nicely. It was easy and quick to weave, and I plan on weaving a few more scarves like this one with variations in color and design.
Another Network Drafted Woven Scarf
I wove this blue scarf before weaving the fabric and purple scarf. When I started weaving it I altered the treadling a bit so the waves don’t look exactly the same as the ones in Networked Draft 2. I used white 20/2 Tencel that I dyed with tea for a more natural color for warp and 10/2 turquoise/blue pearl cotton for weft at 42 epi and about 28 ppi. The sett for warp is closer than for weft because the weft is thicker and so the waves running vertically appear elongated, just the way I wanted it. The longest float is 3. I could have used a floating selvedge but decided to use shafts 9 and 10 to weave as plain weave for a neat selvedge, an option if you have extra shafts to spare. Wet finishing was the same as for the other pieces. The hand, drape, and luster of this scarf are lovely, and it reminds me of the ocean.
I wove my first network drafted scarf a couple of years ago with just a little knowledge about network drafting and how to use my weaving software and used different tools in the program in a trial and error sort of way. I actually like that first scarf very much. I often learn new things this way, jump in and test the water and afterwards study and practice more diligently to improve my skills. These are a few sources that helped me learn more about network drafting:
- The Manual that came with my weaving software, Fiberworks PCW Silver
- Bonnie Inouye’s book, Exploring Multishaft Design, and her article on Weavezine, “Flowing Curves: Network Drafted Twill.”
- The chapter on network drafting with twills in Twill Thrills (The Best of Weavers), edited by Madelyn van der Hoogt. These are just a few of the articles compiled into this book from many that were published in Weaver’s magazine through 1999.
- Alice Schlein’s book, Network Drafting: An Introduction
Until next time, happy weaving everyone!