Re: Other topics

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Posted by Marla Mallett on August 09, 1999 at 17:20:43:

In Reply to: Re: Other topics posted by Wendel Swan on August 09, 1999 at 15:21:37:

In a recent e-mail, Daniel said that during Wendel's salon discussion I did not explain the matter of "weft ease" sufficiently, and asked me to please clarify. I tried to explain by referring to the back side photo of his Rug No. 1. He's asked that I repeat that here.

Sorry to belabor these points, but let me start from scratch and try again, then use Daniel's rug as an example. We need to recognize basic differences between two kinds of fabrics:

1. Balanced weaves and other structures with NO weft ease...... Warp yarns are taut on the loom, of course. If weft yarns are inserted so they also are almost straight (with no "ease"), then when the fabric is taken off the loom and the tension is relaxed, both warps and wefts will have a "wavy" character. They must! Usually BOTH the warps and wefts will be visible in the fabric. The structure is unlikely to be very compact.

2. Weft-faced fabrics (like tapestry, or like the backs of most saddlebags, or like the ground weaves in the majority of pile rugs where the warps are hidden)..... When the wefts are inserted in an open shed they are put in with a high arch, then often are pushed down in scallops. This means that there is extra weft yarn available in the shed so that when it is beaten into place some of that extra length can go over and under the warps to take on a wavy form. More yarn length is needed to go over and under than to go in a straight line! When all wefts are put in with "ease," successive wefts can then be packed closer together so that they cover the warps. In the finished fabric, the warps will be straight, and the wefts very wavy.

If one weft is taut, and the next is put in with lots of ease so that it is extremely wavy, alternate warps are depressed. But you all already know this, and it doesn't apply to our current example.

Sometimes, instead of putting in a weft yarn and pushing it down in scallops, the weaver will just keep the weft very loose, and pack it down one very short section at a time so that extra yarn length is available to take on a sinuous form.

In the detail of the back of Daniel's rug No. 1, most wefts seem to have been put in without much ease, and so they have not packed down tightly to cover the warps. Because of this, both the warps and wefts undulate slightly. But in a couple of rows, wefts do cover the warps. The weaver of this rug simply was not very consistent.

Well, I wonder if this makes any better sense?


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