Rus Kaftan Update – weaving, finally.

May 9, 2012

Here is a magnified artsy closeup of the point diamond twill weave of rus kaftan cloth.

Its been a few weeks since I last posted.  I was at the part of the project that wasn’t terribly exciting.  I finished threading the loom.  That took about 6 days of working a few hours each evening.   Then came time to beam the warp.

Oh.  Em.  Gee, guys.  What a pain!

It took me and my helpers (four of them!) about eight hours over three days to beam this thirteen yard warp.  Remember that the warp is twelve hundred threads densely packed onto three shafts, so as the threads passed back to the beam fuzzy bits would tangle around each other and bind up the threads.  I was forced to stop every six inches or so and detangle them.

The magyar kaftan cloth, even more densely packed at thirty six ends per inch of the same weight yarn, was so much easier to beam then this.  This was probably because the ends were spread out over eight harnesses and there was room for the threads to move freely.

Eventually, the warp was beamed.  As I was tying on to the apron, I worried about the weaving experience.  Would it be as challenging to weave as it was to beam?

Yes and no, as it turns out.  I’m using a temple, floating warp threads and an end feed shuttle.  All those things make weaving a little easier.  I’m still having a lot of issues with the threads binding together.  My solution to that is to weave under a lot of tension.

And, because of the threads binding together, I’m having trouble with my weft being too wobbly and loose, leaving a small loop at the selvage, when I beat.  I think I’ll try a different kind of shuttle to combat that.  The weft needs to be pass through the shed under more tension to break through the fuzzies and get the proper sized arc.

Enough whining!  So far I’ve woven about four feet and I’m enjoying it.  I’m looking forward to hitting the zen weaving rhythm and I’m starting to look ahead to my next project.

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