Wednesday, 15 April 2015


I love stripes and I enjoy designing new stripes.  After finishing my last blog I thought about the lovely book about Estonian skirt stripes  Virumaa Seelikud. Taking inspiration from the book I decided to design two stripes to share with you. For details of the book look at the previous blog entry in March or the  book list on the blog.

Here is a sample page so that you can see the high quality of this book.

Virumaa Seelikud  by Kersti Loite

Making yarn wraps.

Making a yarn wrap is a good way of looking at colour and proportion before you start weaving. Here is yarn wrap taken from the skirt material which dates from 1909. The yarn wrap is a guide.

Yarn wrap
If you look at the yarn wrap you can see 2 white yarns 4 pale pink 4 dark pink then 4 black.  In the centre there are 4 pale blue.

If you wanted to weave a narrow band so that this is what appears on the surface you need to double the warp ends for each colour. There are 90 warp ends.  I wove the band using 16/2 cotton and it is 2.4 cm in width.

band woven with 16/2 cotton

drawdown for weaving a narrow band

On page 89 there is a lovely stripe design for woven material for a skirt.  I looked at one element of the stripe pattern and made a yarn wrap using 16/2 cotton. For a narrower band you can alter the width of each strip.  Here I have halved the number for each stripe.  Using different yarn will also affect the width of the band.
Yarn wrap for narrow band
For this band I used 55 warp ends.  I used the number of yarns that can be seen on the surface of the yarn wrap.

Band woven with 16/2 cotton.

drawdown for narrow band

The woven bands
Do look at the page on Plain Weave Warp Faced Bands on my blog for another example.

Stripe Inspiration.

Here are two more books which I bought several years ago which are a good source of inspiration for stripes.

Stripe Design Textile Patterns in Japan
2005  ISBN 4-89444-422-4

The second book is small but contains 650 examples of patterns from Japan

Japanese Textiles II Stripes and Lattices
ISBN 4-86152-024-X

Tea Towels

I have just finished weaving a set of small tea towels for our motor home.
Warp: cottolin in four shades: pale grey dark grey burgundy and pale burgundy.
Weft: One towel -  burgundy; one towel - pale burgundy and the final towel is woven as drawn in.
Sett: 20 ends per inch

Woven on 8 shafts 
Weave structure: plain weave.  I used 8 shafts but plain weave can be woven using any even number of shafts.

Stripes can be turned into checks very easily but take longer to weave as more shuttles have to be used.
Three tea towels
Check pattern on loom

Susan J Foulkes  April 2015

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