07 October 2013

Weaving with bamboo and organic cotton

I have some lovely bamboo here in a nice bright green, and I thought it would be great woven up into some baby blankets or something similar. I ordered some organic cotton to go with it, and wound my warp bouts this morning.

I didn’t have enough yarn to do the full width for a blanket, so I warped up what I did have and pondered a little. It is about 25” in the reed, which will shrink down by 10-15% once it’s off the loom and washed, so the width is just about right for a placemat. I leafed through the weaving drafts I have printed out by the loom, and found this one, from LeClerc, for a tea towel. The fabric is a nice texture, and it really shows off the different threads nicely … plus the treadling is easy.

Note for other weavers: I do the tie-up so that I can “dance the treadles” – left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. In this draft, I tie up as shown, but to treadles 4,2,3,1: that way the treadling is 1-3-1 (left-right-left) and then 2-4-2 (right-left-right). It makes knowing where your feet are on the treadles a lot easier: I can tip my foot sideways a little to feel if I’m on the outermost treadle or if there’s another one next to my foot, which makes confirming that I’m on the right lever a very quick, tactile thing. I’ve been weaving a 1-2-3-4 twill lately, so I have to concentrate a little to keep the alternating pattern on this one, my feet automatically want to move across to the next treadle after each throw, so being able to check quickly without bending over or having to raise the shed and then look to see if it’s right is a big bonus.

Here’s a picture of the first sample piece:

I put on around 12-15 feet of warp, and each placemat takes one full 50 gram ball of the cotton. I have ten of those, so I should be able to weave most of them on the warp I have. I may do a set of six placemats and then a few longer pieces (table runners, centre pieces, tea towels, something like that) if I get bored, and I think I should have some variety for the craft show … which is coming up soon, so I have to get this weaving underway!

I wasn’t planning to head back to the loom, but maybe I will do just a little more. It’s such enjoyable “work”!

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