Posted tagged ‘rep weave’

Warp Rep: Variations on a Theme

January 26, 2017

While weaving a pair of warp rep (warp-faced rep weave) runners, I was already imagining weaving another one.  So I did try a variation and a different color.  Then I thought it would be interesting to weave another variation for a belt.  That turned out to be a lot of fun.  These are the projects that I will be writing about in this post.

I’m grateful to Rosalie Neilson whose articles about warp rep in Weaver’s magazine have taught me the basics and inspired me to develop my own designs.  I list her articles and other references in a post about warp rep that I did some time ago.  In this post, Rosalie’s article in Weaver’s #11, “Warp Rep: 8 Shafts, 8 Blocks,” is the one I used as a reference for my current projects, especially her warp rep sampler on pages 21-22.

For the pair of runners I used 20/2 cotton (2 strands together) in the warp, alternating purple and ecru, at 60 epi (6 per dent in a 10-dent reed), and for the weft I alternated a thick purple cotton with a thin 20/2 purple cotton:

Warp Rep Purple Runners, cotton, 10 x 24 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Purple Runners, cotton, 10 x 24 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Purple Runner, cotton, 2017 (close-up)

Warp Rep Purple Runner, cotton, 2017 (close-up)

I designed the draft for the purple runners by starting with threading and treadling pattern lines, and with the help of weaving software and what I learned from Rosalie’s article, I came up with this final draft:

Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner

Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner (interlacement view)

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner (interlacement view)

In the above drafts, dark and light colors alternate in the threading (except in the borders which are one color), and thick and thin wefts alternate in the treadling.  A complete thread-by-thread draft would be too lengthy, therefore this draft shows only 2 repeats of each 2-end threading block.  I actually repeated each 2-end threading block 8 times for a total of 16 ends per block (except the borders which have a total of 32 ends on each side), while the 2 repeats of each 2-weft treadling block for a total of 4 weft shots per block worked out fine just as it is in the draft.  I also used floating selvedges.

These are the 8 threading blocks on 8 shafts:  (1,5), (2,6), (3,7), (4,8), (5,1), (6,2), (7,3), (8,4).

These are the 8 treadling blocks on 16 treadles:  (1,2), (3,4), (5,6), (7,8), (9,10), (11,12), (13,14), (15,16).

Happy with the way the purple runners turned out, I was ready to weave another variation.  I kept the same threading and treadling and played around with the tie-up until I came up with another pleasing pattern.  I decided to use beautiful 5/2 pearl cotton, coral and ecru colors for the warp and a thick and thin cotton for the weft of colors similar to the border color.  I resleyed the remaining warp on the loom to 40 epi, 4 per dent in the same 10-dent reed, and tied on my new pearl cotton warp.  Here’s how it turned out:

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 14 x 25 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 14 x 25 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 2017 (close-up)

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 2017 (close-up)

The draft for the Coral Runner is exactly the same as for the Purple Runners except that the tie-up is different.  Also, you may notice in the interlacement view of the draft below that some warp ends are side by side under the same wefts.  In the draft, these dark and light colors appear to be in the right order, but during weaving they can shift positions and then they will appear like a mistake in the woven cloth.  If this happens, you can easily shift them back into place manually as you weave along and they will stay there.

Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner

Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner (interlacement view)

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner (interlacement view)

While still in warp rep mode, I also wove a belt using 5/2 pearl cotton for the warp and a thick and thin cotton for the weft.  For weaving a narrow width, I wound the weft yarns on stick shuttles and beat the weft in with the edge of the shuttle.  The sett for the belt is 48 epi, 8 ends per dent in a 6-dent reed, closer than the 40 epi I used for the Coral Runner.  I finished one end of the belt by machine stitching twice and then blanket stitching by hand with the pearl cotton.  I sewed D-rings into the other end for the buckle.  This is one of the first belts I ever did.  Here it is:

Warp Rep Belt, pearl cotton, 2 x 36 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Belt, pearl cotton, 2 x 36 inches, 2017

The diamond patterns for the belt require fewer treadles than the runners.  I repeated each 2-end threading block 8 times, same as the runners, except that each border has 6 dark ends and 6 light ends.  I followed the treadling exactly as in the draft below:

Draft for Warp Rep Belt, 2017

Draft for Warp Rep Belt, 2017

With a little bit of warp left on the loom from the belt, I couldn’t resist to weave this:

Warp Rep Bookmark, 2017

Warp Rep Bookmark, 2017

My favorite book about weaving narrow belts and bands is Mary Meigs Atwater’s classic, Byways in Handweaving, An Illustrated Guide to Rare Weaving Techniques.  It is a real treasure filled with illustrations and techniques from around the world.

OK, that’s all for warp rep.  If you would like the wif file for any of the drafts in this post, let me know.

See you next time!

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Rep Weave: Placemats (4 shafts) & Table Runner (16 shafts)

July 14, 2011

Warp-faced rep weave, sometimes referred to as warp rep, mattor, or ripsmatta, is a relative of shadow weave.  They are alike in that the structure of both these weaves is mostly plain weave and light and dark ends alternate in the warp and are threaded on pairs of shafts.  They differ in that the warp in warp rep is sett much closer and thick and thin wefts alternate to create horizontal ridges with an interesting, ribbed texture.

Having woven rep weave before, I wanted to give it another try and learn more about it.  Following are images, drafts, and notes describing my recent rep weave projects that were great fun to weave.

Rep Weave (Warp Rep) Placemats (4 shafts)

While researching this topic, I came across a unique article I found online at handweaving.net, “Mattor,” by Robert Frederic Heartz, published in 1936.  I was inspired by the informative, hand-drawn illustrations, drafts, and meticulous notes.  I picked Draft No. 7 accompanying Illustration No.7, entered the info into my weaving program and wove a set of four placemats:

Warp Rep Placemats, 14″x 18″, cotton, 2011

Warp Rep Placemats, 14″ x 18″, cotton, 2011 (detail)

If you look at the article, each threading block consists of 8 warp ends, but you can vary this number as long as it’s in multiples of pairs.  I translated the handwritten notes into this computer generated profile draft and noted the block numbers on top:

Profile Draft for Warp Rep Placemats showing threading blocks

The threading of each block and the tie-up is easier to understand if you look at the two views below.  The top one is an interlacement view so you can see the plain weave structure and what is actually going on with the thick and thin wefts.  The bottom warp rep view shows what the actual weaving will look like, the weft is no longer visible covered by the close sett of the warp.  I didn’t include the border that is shown in the handwritten notes in the article because you can create solid colored vertical stripes by simply repeating any block using a solid color instead of alternating light/dark colors as in the rest of the warp.  Here are the two views:

Draft for Warp Rep Placemats showing interlacement and warp rep views

Additional Notes:

I wove a few samples with different setts and yarns before weaving the placemats to help me figure out how many times to repeat each block in the threading and the treadling so they would turn out nice and a good size for a placemat.  I followed the threading exactly the same number of times as indicated in the article with 8 ends in each block.  However, I treadled as if there were only 2 ends in each treadling block, otherwise the pattern would have been too elongated.  I also created a pdf of the thread-by-thread and treadling drafts for the placemats:  Threading & Treadling for Rep Weave Placemats

For the warp I used 20/2 cotton (2 strands together used as one) at a sett of 60 e.p.i., sleyed 4 ends per dent in a 15-dent reed.  For the wefts I used a thick, 4-ply cotton of variegated colors alternating with a thin 20/2 cotton (single, not doubled up as in the warp).  The final measurement of each placemat turned out to be 14 inches x 18 inches after wet finishing – washing by hand and steam ironing while still damp, and hand stitching the hems.  Next time they can go in the washing machine on the gentle cycle.

A word about the shed:  Because of the close sett it can be difficult to get a wide open shed for smooth and fast weaving.  In this project it was good but I still had to help it a little, prying it open wider as the shuttle passed through.  For a neater selvedge, I placed the weft in a rounded, inverted “v” shape and beat it in on the opposite shed.  I read in one article that if you keep the warp tension looser you can lay the weft in straight and the looser warp will do all the bending, but I didn’t try it this way.

There are books and articles with different tips on how to weave rep weave efficiently, my favorite is Joanne Tallarovic’s book, Rep Weave and Beyond.  “Weaver’s” magazine has many articles on rep weave that were written during its publication years from 1988-2000.  My favorites are:

  • “A Designer’s Handbook: Warp Rep,” by Donna Sullivan, Weaver’s #11
  • “‘Ripped’ About Rep,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #9
  • “4 Shaft, 4 Block Rep: A Sampler,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #9
  • “Warp Rep: 8 Shafts, 8 Blocks,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #11
  • “Warp Rep: 16 Shafts, 16 Blocks,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #15

Rosalie Neilson’s website has info about her work including the 4-shaft warp rep Sampler.

Rep Weave (Warp Rep) Table Runner (16 shafts)

Among my collection of samples woven by members of the Fine Threads Study Group at Complex Weavers, I found a warp rep sample that was designed by using parallel threading and treadling that inspired me to design a table runner.  I also read in one of Rosalie Neilson’s articles, “Warp Rep: 16 Shafts, 16 Blocks” (Weaver’s #15), how to easily derive tie-ups from 16-shaft twills that can be used in warp rep.  I went ahead and designed many parallel threadings and treadlings, tried them with different tie-ups, chose one I liked, and after a few revisions (ok, many revisions), was ready to weave it.  Using weaving software was really helpful in speeding up this process.  Here is the finished woven piece:

Warp Rep Table Runner, 19″x 35″, pearl cotton, 2011

Below are two drafts for the Table Runner, one is a close-up that shows the colors I used in the warp, the tie-up, and the thick and thin wefts.  The other is a black & white version that shows one full repeat of the threading and treadling.

Weaving Draft for Warp Rep Table Runner (color detail and b&w showing one repeat)

If you are using weaving software and would like the WIF file of the draft, let me know and I’ll be happy to e-mail it to you.

Additional Notes:

I wove a few samples first for this project as well and chose 5/2 pearl cotton for the warp, sett at 40 e.p.i. and a thick, 4-ply cotton of variegated colors for the thick weft and a 20/2 cotton for the thin.  I tried sleying 4 ends per dent in a 10-dent reed but some warp ends didn’t sit where they were supposed to and so the colors didn’t look exactly right.  I resleyed at 2 ends per dent in a 20-dent reed, but this made it more difficult to get a wide open shed.  On the other hand, there was ample space between pairs of ends (e.g., 1,9 and 2,10) that somewhat compensated for this handicap.  I still had to insert a wooden sword in the narrow shed behind the reed, turning it on its side to open the shed wider so the shuttle could easily pass through.  It was slow weaving but it worked.

The only finishing for the Table Runner was twisting the fringes, no wet finishing because I want to use it mostly as a decorative piece.

There are many variations possible in rep weave such as multiple color combinations, a lesser dense warp where the weft plays a bigger role because it’s more visible, and even warp rep and weft rep in the same piece.  I wove a couple of different colorful warp rep runners some time ago that may be of interest, the third and fourth images on my Gallery – 2005 & 2007 page.

UPDATE January 2017:  I revisited warp rep in 2017 and you can find photos, drafts, and notes in my new post that describe how I designed and wove two warp rep runners and a belt .

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