Archive for the ‘Lace Weaves’ category

Lace & Spot Weave Variations

May 21, 2014

Many Lace and Spot Weaves are created by warp floats and weft floats on a plain weave background.  Lace has openings or holes and spot weave has closed spots.  In my favorite book on weave structures, The Primary Structures of Fabrics, Irene Emery classifies Lace and Spot Weaves, including Huck, Lace Bronson, and Mock Leno, under float weaves derived from plain weave.  To a weaver a “float” often means a mistake, an unintentional skip of warp or weft that is longer than it should be, but floats are actually good in the case of a plain weave background patterned by areas of float weave.

Having worked with Huck Lace and Mock Leno, I wanted to try something a little different using floats on a plain weave background.  Instead of starting with a profile draft and using traditional blocks that you find with most Lace and Spot Weaves, I designed threadings and treadlings of unbroken point twills – similar to Gebrochene – with twill tie-ups and wove samples on 8 shafts and a fancier pattern on 15 shafts.  I’m happy to share photos and drafts of my work, starting with the fancy one first.

Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation – 15 shafts

To weave this fancy pattern I used 10/2 pearl cotton with a sett of 24 epi and about the same ppi.  I used 15, not 16, shafts because after designing the pattern I played around with it making adjustments and it looked better this way.  Following is the final draft and photos of the woven piece after washing and ironing.  You can see that the corners of the piece are threaded and treadled as straight twill and the center areas are a combination of short and long unbroken point twills:

Draft for Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation

Draft for Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation

Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation - warp & weft floats on plain weave, pearl cotton, 2014

Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation – warp & weft floats on plain weave, pearl cotton, 2014

Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation - warp & weft floats on plain weave, pearl cotton, 2014 (close-up of center)

Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation – warp & weft floats on plain weave, pearl cotton, 2014 (close-up of center)

Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation - warp & weft floats on plain weave, pearl cotton, 2014 (close-up of corner)

Fancy Lace & Spot Weave Variation – warp & weft floats on plain weave, pearl cotton, 2014 (close-up of corner)

Lace & Spot Weave Variations – Samples on 8 shafts

I wove four samples with a sett of 24 epi using off-white 10/2 pearl cotton for the warp and a bluish color for the weft.  I wove four more samples using the same off-white for the warp and for the weft because I was curious to see how they would look when they are all white.  The amazing thing is how different the same weave appears when it’s all white.  When you hold it up to the light you can see through it and imagine lacy curtains.  Even more amazing are the areas where the yarn is deflected and curved into pleasing shapes.  Wet finishing helps the warp and weft floats to draw together to create this effect.

Following are the drafts and photos of the samples I designed.  You can easily see in the photos of the samples with the blue weft that all the warp floats are on one side of the cloth and the weft floats are on the other side.  I photographed the all-white samples on an overcast day lit from behind by the natural light of the sky so you can see the lace and spot areas better as well as the areas where the yarn is deflected.

In the drafts for the samples, note that the threading and treadling is the same for all, the only difference is in the tie-up:

Drafts for Lace & Spot Weave Variations - Samples on 8 shafts

Drafts for Lace & Spot Weave Variations – Samples on 8 shafts

Sample #1:

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #1, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #1, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #1, white warp, white weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #1, white warp, white weft

Sample #2:

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #2, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #2, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #2, white warp, white weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #2, white warp, white weft

Sample #3:

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #3, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #3, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #3, white warp, white weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #3, white warp, white weft

Sample #4:

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #4, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #4, white warp, blue weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #4 - white warp, white weft

Lace & Spot Weave Variation #4 – white warp, white weft

Until next time, best wishes to all for a great summer and happy weaving!

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Weaving Huck Lace!

October 20, 2010

I know how to do Filet Crochet, it’s very open, lacy, looks beautiful using fine yarns, and patterns can be easily designed on graph paper.  So, I thought why not try to weave something like this.  From the many types of lace weaves, I chose Huck Lace.  I spent hours designing 7-block profile drafts for Huck and plain weave blocks that I could weave on my 16-shaft treadle loom.

Although a main subject on a background is nice, I was really trying to design a profile draft with a balance between the Huck and the plain weave areas so that the negative and positive spaces would be equally important.  This way the patterns formed by the Huck areas as well as the plain weave areas would be interesting.

I came up with a profile draft I thought would work, and what started out to be a lacy shawl ended up as a curtain because I love the way it looks when light passes through it.  Following are images, drafts and other details about it.

Huck Lace Curtain (pearl cotton) 2010

Huck Lace Curtain (pearl cotton) 2010 (detail 1)

Huck Lace Curtain (pearl cotton) 2010 (detail 2)

Profile Draft and Partial Weaving Draft:

After designing the profile draft, I used the “block substitution” feature in my weaving program to generate a complete thread-by-thread weaving draft.  But you don’t really need a full thread-by-thread draft; just follow the block order in the profile draft.  For example, if you look at the Profile Draft and Partial Weaving Draft below, reading right to left and top to bottom, the first block is threaded and treadled as:  1-6-1-6-1, 2-5-2-5-2, 1-6-1-6-1; the next block as:  2-7-2-7-2, 1-8-1-8-1, 2-7-2-7-2; and so on.

If anyone who has weaving software would prefer to see the WIF file that has the complete thread-by-thread weaving draft, please contact me and I’ll e-mail it to you.

PROFILE DRAFT for Huck Lace Curtain

Partial Weaving Draft for Huck Lace Curtain

Huck Lace Unit:

I used a 5-thread Huck in this project where warp floats alternate with weft floats.  The image and draft below show how one full unit of this type of Huck can be threaded and treadled repeatedly on 4 shafts as 2-3-2-3-2, 1-4-1-4-1.  For my project I used 1-1/2 units per block.

Huck Lace Sample and Draft

For more on Huck Lace using 4 shafts there are two superb articles on Weavezine:  Laura Fry’s “Woven Lace: Huck on a Twill Threading” and Michele Belson’s “Color Gamps” that has a draft for “Huck Lace Blocks in Plain Weave Ground.”

And my favorite book on the subject is:  Huck Lace (The Best of Weaver’s), edited by Madelyn van der Hoogt.

Weaving Notes:

I wove a few samples at first trying out different setts and yarns.  The winner was 20/2 pearl cotton sett at 30 e.p.i., sleyed 2 per dent in a 15-dent reed.  This sett is loose compared to 36 e.p.i. that I often use for plain weave with this type of yarn, but looser works well in this case.

With an added inch or so of plain weave at the selvedges, the width on the loom was about 26″ with a finished width of 24″ after hand washing and steam ironing while still lightly damp.  I wove enough yardage to make curtains for a small window.

There was one other sample I really liked where I used a very fine 64/2 merino silk yarn.  I’m thinking of doing a Huck Lace project with this.  Stay tuned.

Update (February 2011):  I wove two Huck Lace Shawls using the 64/2 merino silk yarn with a sett of 45 e.p.i., they feel really luxurious.  Here’s a picture:

Huck Lace Shawl, silk & merino wool, 17″x68″, 2011

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Leno – True & Mock

June 14, 2009

I first learned to weave true leno in the late 70’s using a pick-up stick on my rigid heddle loom and later on experimented on my floor loom with bead leno, doup leno, as well as mock leno.

Having said that, I decided to backtrack and do some research to learn more about leno.  I found many articles in different weaving magazines as well as various descriptions in several weaving books.  My notes from Desiree Koslin’s ‘Weave Construction & Analysis’ class from the 80’s has the clearest distinction between true and mock leno:  “Mock leno weaves are those weaves which create open or lace-like effects without using leno twisting of warp ends.”

I also bought Irene Emery’s book, The Primary Structures of Fabrics (considered a classic reference book on terminology and structures of fabrics).  There’s a fascinating chapter (pp. 180-192) on leno/gauze with historical and etymological explanations as well as detailed descriptions of the various types.  Mock leno/imitation gauze is also explained on pp. 124-127.

Below are images of leno weavings I’ve done in the 80’s with additional information about each one.

True Leno:

There are two types of true leno: 1) weaver-controlled leno – the warp ends are twisted with the fingers and a pick-up stick or sword is used to help in making the twist stay in place and 2) loom-controlled leno – this includes bead and doup leno where a device is added to the loom that eliminates the tedious task of picking up the warp ends and twising them with the fingers.

Purple Top - Pick-Up Leno

Purple Top – Pick-Up Leno

Illustration of Leno Using a Pick-Up Stick

Illustration of Leno Using a Pick-Up Stick

I used a pick-up stick to weave the leno in the Purple Top.  The warp ends are rayon and cotton yarns sett at 8 epi and the weft is a thicker cotton yarn.  I drew the illustration to show a simple leno twist of 2 warps ends (1 end twisted once with 1 end).  The detailed image of the Purple Top shows a twist of 2 warp ends (1 end twisted twice with 1 end) as well as a twist of 4 warp ends (2 ends twisted once with 2 ends).  The pick-up stick is turned on its side so that a shed is created, the weft is passed through, the pick-up stick is removed and, in this case, plain weave is resumed.

If you’re interested to learn more about true leno, there are several great articles that include pick-up, bead and doup leno, all in one issue of Weaver’s magazine (#15, 4th Quarter 1991).  Also, there’s a wonderful article on doup leno on Weavezine from November 30, 2008, by Irma Spaargaren, “Give it a Twist: Doup Leno.”  If you want something really challenging, there’s a book by Ulla Nass, Harness Lace, that she published in 1977.  There is also a post by John Marshall on Japanese leno, karamiori, that is fascinating and beautiful.

Mock Leno:

Noil Silk Top - Mock Leno

Noil Silk Top – Mock Leno

Weaving Draft for Mock Leno

Weaving Draft for Mock Leno

I wove the Noil Silk Top using single/medium weight noil silk sett at 10 epi.  I wove a lot of yardage and made different things from it, and this particular piece was tie-dyed using fiber reactive dyes.  There was considerable shrinkage after the finishing process and the open, lacy effect shows really well, it’s incredibly light and I still wear it sometimes so many years later.  I got this commonly used weaving draft for mock leno from the time I freelanced as a sample weaver for textile companies.  In some of the weaving articles I read, other open weaves such as Bronson lace are mentioned along with mock leno and also discussed in Emery’s book.

Here’s a 4 shaft version of mock leno woven as Huck lace:

Huck Lace as Mock Leno (cotton sample)

Huck Lace as Mock Leno Draft

I’m not sure if this may be called mock leno:

Linen Top - Mock Leno(?)

Linen Top – Mock Leno(?)

Weaving Draft for Linen Top

Weaving Draft for Linen Top

But I’m including this Linen Top under mock leno because the fabric is open or lace-like and fits the definition of mock leno I mentioned at the beginning.  It also fits Emery’s definition because she says that mock leno is an “effect of openworks” and “not a specific structure.”  I used 10/2 linen sett at 12 epi and space-dyed the linen using fiber reactive dyes in several color batches before making the warp.  This Linen Top is one of my favorites.

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