Weaving the Kaftan cloth

October 29, 2011

Kaftan cloth selvage.

I am ready to start weaving the kaftan cloth.  I am excited to see the pattern emerge and to see if the reality was going to match my vision.

I always weave a few picks in the header with toilet paper to set the distance between the threads. Then I wove several repeats of the pattern with commercially dyed yarn so as to not waste any of the hand dyed thread. The yarn was slightly larger and you can see the effect on the design at the bottom of the picture where the diamonds are elongated.

I had a lot of trouble weaving in the beginning.   I’m not even sure what is going on with that.  I do know that I haven’t yet added the floating weft and thing dramatically improved after that.

I use fishing line for the floating warp which is weighted separately at the back. You can see in the picture the point at which where I added the float. Suddenly the selvage is decent. Its like magic! I also like to use a temple to control draw-in at the selvage.  It cuts down on wear on the selvage threads and reduces breakages.

Kaftan cloth woven pattern

Here is a shot of the pattern as its being woven.  At this point, I was really debating with myself whether I should re-sley at a slightly less dense sett in order to get the diamonds closer in shape to the inspiration fabric.

In the end, I decided to go with it as is because, frankly, I was out of time.  Re-sleying would have added at least a day, maybe two, and I wasn’t sure it would make much of a difference in the final product once it was woven and washed.

Since I’m not trying to create a duplication of the actual weave (and in fact, couldn’t anyway due to equipment limitations), I felt that this weave is beautiful and would be lovely in the final garment.

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