Archive for November, 2008

2008 Weave of the week #18: An interpretation
November 30, 2008



This week’s weave of the week is one of my own designs, from when I was a fabric designer in the New York garment industry.

It sounds kind of like a reality show challenge: Take a 2″ x 2-1/2″ fragment of an unidentified woolen handknit (inset above) and design a woven cotton fabric that looks like it and that can be mass-produced on industrial power looms. (NB: This isn’t what is known as a “knockoff,”  which is as exact a copy of an original as possible. A redesign like this is called an “interpretation.” )

In interpreting this design I tried to keep the colors, the size of the repeat, and the two-colored flower motif, as close to the original as I could, using my company’s 24/2 cotton yarn, so I used a supplementary warp to make the flowers, tabby for the in-between stripes, and a 3/1″satin” weave to outline the stripes. A fashion designer bought the interpretation after seeing a handwoven sample made from my design. The finished commercial fabric is shown above.

You might have bought a garment made out of this fabric in the mid-1970s, when ethnically inspired designs were hot. I designed quite a few such fabrics, and Wollman Industries — the Pennsylvania-based mill that I worked for at the time — sold a lot of them to American apparel companies, as did other domestic mills. (That was when it was still possible to buy clothing that had been made in the USA from beginning to end  — from raw material to yarn to fabric to finished garment.)

2008 Weave of the week #17: Darling
November 23, 2008



This food-stained child’s bib struck me as a good choice for a Thanksgiving-week weave, because of the way it seems to combine food, family, love, and handweaving into one small piece of cloth.

I bought the bib partly because it is an interesting textile, but it meant more to me that it had been painstakingly made for a cherished child. And the woven word “darling,” with its sweetly old-fashioned sound (the word comes from the Old English “deorling,” which wandered into eighteenth-century dialect as “dearling”), made me think that it was probably made in a different era.

From what I can tell by looking at it, the warp is fine white and light blue cotton and the weft is the same, plus a finely looped cotton supplementary yarn that was used for the pattern and the lettering. The wrong side is the same as the right side, just reversed. I have posted a detail on my Gallery page.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

November 19, 2008

Firefly yarn

I have a nice range of colors in Silk City’s Firefly yarn (nine colors), but only one cone left of most colors. Firefly is a finer-gauge (3250 ypp) “eyelash” yarn, and because the fiber content is mostly viscose, I have used it as a decorative warp yarn with rayon chenille, where it works beautifully, for example (with Silk City’s Eyelash yarn) in the “Diva” swatch that I have posted on my Gallery page.

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