Archive for the ‘Amalgamation’ category

Amalgamation – Woven Designs

September 8, 2022

I was intrigued by a new feature on handweaving.net called “Amalgamation Drafting” which was developed by Alice Schlein.  To learn more about it I ordered from Alice her wonderfully detailed monograph, “Amalgamation: Double Your Dobby,” illustrated with many interesting drafts and woven samples.  Alice explains that amalgamation in weaving is a way of spreading out heddles when the sett is very close so they don’t interfere with each other by using a satin order, but it can also be used to design interesting patterns using fewer shafts.  Inspired, I was ready to experiment.

My weaving software, Fiberworks PCW in windows, does not support automatic amalgamation drafting so I manually entered parts of the threading and was still able to design my own drafts easily enough.  I designed and wove a wall hanging and a few sample pieces using networked drafting amalgamated with a satin base for all these pieces.

Shown below is a close-up and full view of the 16-shaft wall hanging which was the most challenging piece to design.  To weave it I used 10/2 Tencel for the warp at 36 e.p.i., 5/2 pearl cotton for the weft at about 24 p.p.i., and the longest float is 5.  The woven piece was hand washed and steam ironed before sewing the top and bottom hems.

Amalgamation – Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & pearl cotton, 2022 (close-up with full view)
Partial draft for Amalgamation – Wall Hanging

Next is a 16-shaft sample.  I wove this sample on the same warp and used the same tie-up as the wall hanging, except that I made it less wide by removing warp ends from the two sides, changed the treadling, and used 10/2 pearl cotton instead of 5/2 for the weft at about 32 p.p.i.  This sample was also hand washed and steam ironed.

Amalgamation – Sample woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & pearl cotton, 2022

The last piece shown below is an 8-shaft sample followed by its complete draft.  If you click on the second view of the draft which shows one repeat, it will be enlarged and easily read.  For this sample I used 20/2 cotton for the warp at 40 e.p.i. and 20/2 cotton for the weft at about 40 p.p.i.  The longest float is 4.

Amalgamation – Sample woven on 8 shafts, cotton, 2022
Draft for Amalgamation – 8-shaft Sample (2 repeats)
Draft for Amalgamation – 8-shaft Sample (1 repeat, click to enlarge)

I’ve been a member of Complex Weavers for many years, and I’m thrilled about their new 40th anniversary book published this year (2022):  Eight Shafts: Beyond the Beginning (Personal Approaches to Design), edited by Laurie Knapp Autio.  This book is dedicated in loving memory to weaver, author and teacher, Wanda J. Shelp.  I’m happy to say that I’m one of 72 weavers featured in this beautiful book who have written about an original piece they wove.  My contribution is in the section about curved lines entitled:  “String of Ovals – Yardage in 4-Color Integrated Double Weave.”

40th Anniversary Book published by Complex Weavers, 2022

Wishing you well, see you next time!

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