Saturday, 16 August 2014

Weaving table linen

Tea for two.

I have just completed a set of place mats.

Weave Structure: plain weave and 2/2 twill

Warp: cottolin

Sett: 24 epi                     12 reed with two ends per dent.

Weft: 6/1 Tow linen. I used a light blue to contrast with the bright blue of the warp, 16/2 cotton in the same colour for the hem and 16/2 linen in a contrasting colour for the twill stripes.

Number of warp ends: 312    The last two warp ends at the selvedges are threaded as one to provide a firmer edge to the cloth.

Width at reed: 13 inches (33 cm)

Picks per inch approx: 18

Start and finish each place mat with 10 picks using 16/2 cotton.  This is for the fold under part of the hem. Using a thinner yarn makes the hem less bulky.

The tow linen is a singles yarn and needs to be woven carefully. Here is my suggestion of how to avoid the singles yarn twisting into little loops on the surface of the cloth.

The weaving sequence:

  1. Take shuttle through the shed to the right.
  2. Hold the weft at left selvedge and tug to ensure that the previous weft is lying flat.
  3. Fold the weft and hold at the left side. Pull the weft on the shuttle so that it is straight and lies about 2.5 inches above the fell of the cloth on the right selvedge.
  4. Change the shed so that the stretched weft is trapped.
  5. Beat firmly.
  6. Repeat taking the shuttle through to the left.

You can get a good rhythm with the weaving.  It is important to straighten out the weft and then to change the shed.  This ensures that the weft does not try to twist together and form little loops of yarn on the surface of the cloth.

loops of twisted yarn on the surface of the cloth.


Here is the cloth showing the loops of twisted yarn on the surface.

A smooth surface with no loops.

Weaving correctly, by pulling the weft taut and trapping it in the shed before beating, ensures that the surface of the weaving is smooth.

length of woven cloth
 Off the loom you can see how three to four picks of waste yarn divide the place mats.

I wove four mats.  The design is very simple. There are four picks of 2/2 twill in a contrasting colour.  I used 16/2 linen used double. When weaving twill, it is important to catch the final warp end at each side when weaving twill.

Once off the loom, I cut the table mats and hemmed them.  Then they were washed and pressed.

Dimensions before washing

length after hemming: 15.75 inches (40 cm)                 width:   12.5 inches  (32 cm)

Dimensions after washing.

length:         15.5 inches (39.5 cm)                                width:  12 inches (30.5 cm)

Happy Weaving

Durham Weaver  July 2014

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