New weaving project – patterned gauze weave

December 28, 2012

I’ve a friend who studies the Scythian and Pazyryk cultures and she introduced me to a book from an Abegg-Stiftung exhibit in 2001 called “Fabulous Creatures from the Desert Sands“. The book details woolen textiles from the tombs of Shanpula in Xinjiang, China.  Textiles range from gorgeous polychrome horizontal tapestries, to pile rugs, to wide, multi-strand flat braids used as flounces on skirts to embroidered textiles and my current obsession, hand-manipulated lace cloth.

Image © 2001 Abegg-Stiftung, Riggisberg. Used without permission for educational purposes.

I’ve been studying this image from the book and have decided that for my next project, I will try to reproduce the technique.  In contemplating this project, I’ve already made a number of decisions.

  1. I will use my new-to-me rigid heddle loom.  The ground of this cloth is tabby and the scale of that loom seems suited to learning and producing hand-manipulated lace weave.
  2.  I will sample the piece.  This is a no-brainer, right?  Brand new loom, brand new weaving technique = sample.  The first attempt will be using a warp I cut off the loom last year when I was sampling the cloth for the magyar kaftan.
  3. The fiber used will be wool, as in the original.  The sample fiber is 2/18 finger weight wool.  I don’t have very  detailed information on the yarn used in the original.  From the text, I surmise  that it is woolen singles.  I’m hoping sampling will drive out the size of yarn.

I expect to learn a LOT from this project.  I’m really looking forward to it.

  1. How to warp a rigid heddle loom.
  2. How to weave on a rigid heddle loom.
  3. How to weave hand manipulated lace (leno).
  4. How to weave gauze; how to control picks per inch.
  5. How to weave with singles yarn.
  6. How to graph patterned gauze.
  7. …and much more.

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3 Responses to New weaving project – patterned gauze weave

  1. December 31, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I’ve been enjoying your blog, but I just can’t wrap my head around this weave from the picture.

    Is it a manipulated lace weave with a supplementary pattern weft?

    • admin
      December 31, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Cate, I’ll be writing an article soon that goes into detail on how to weave the patterned gauze. In short, yes it is a hand-manipulated lace weave. No, there is not a supplementary weft.

      • December 31, 2012 at 10:13 am

        I’m looking forward to reading it.

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