Rus Kaftan Cloth Project Progress

April 22, 2012

Single repeat of the W-17 draft from Birka III.

To find and read all the entries for this project, you can go here.

In the last week, I’ve made some important decisions to the plan for weaving the Rus Kaftan cloth and made quite a bit of actual progress on moving the project forward.

The first thing I decided to do was to make the warp narrower and longer.  This decision was predicated on the desire to reduce loom waste and to make it a little easier to weave.  Weaving wide cloth basically means that you are holding your arms out at the shoulder for hours throwing the shuttle.  I try to use good posture when I’m weaving, however weaving is very physically demanding and I have some back issues.  And, really, the cloth doesn’t need to be that wide for what I’m going to do with it.

I’ve reduced the number of warp ends from 1422 to 1200 and increased the length from 11 1/2 yards to 13 yards long.  With a sett of 32 ends per inch, this makes the warp about 37 inches at the reed, reduced from 44.

I finished measuring the warp threads for a total of 1200 ends in six groups of 200.  Then I sleyed the reeds and began the process of threading.

Getting to threading meant that I had to settle on a pattern.  I flailed around on the notion that I needed a four shaft pattern (which I didn’t, but that took me a couple of days to realize it).  I was stuck on the idea that I wanted a balanced weave because the last two projects I’ve done (linen dish towels and the Magyar Kaftan cloth) were both unbalanced weaves and that’s pretty rough on my counter-balanced loom.   In my mind, “balanced” translated to an even number of shafts in the draft.   Eventually, I realized that balanced actually had to do with the tie up.  Since each treddle will be tied to two harnesses, and thus “counter-balanced”, the original draft is fine to go with as is.

Well, sort of.  My loom has “harness sticks” and texsolve heddles rather than a rigid harness structure.  In order to keep the counter-balance mechanism working on a three shaft pattern, the unused harness still has to be engaged, so I’m interspersing empty heddles between each pattern repeat on the four harness.

By the way, the pattern I will weave is W-17 from Birka III.  It is a diamond point twill draft.

Sunday, I spent some time threading the loom.  I managed to complete the threading for 1/2 of the warp.

This picture shows my setup for threading the loom front to back. The low bench fits over the treddles allowing me to sit inside the loom with my legs stretched out.

I spent a lot of time today looking at this view. On the right, the yarn has been threaded into the pattern. On the left are the unthreaded sections.










This week, I plan to finish threading in preparation for winding on the warp next weekend.

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One Response to Rus Kaftan Cloth Project Progress

  1. Marled
    January 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I had to laugh when I took a close look at these photos. It really looks like my living/weaving room, even the books are partly the same ;-))
    Many greetings from Germany

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