Tuesday, 1 June 2021

The Joy of Sacks (with acknowledgement to Terry Pratchett)

I have been trying to use up some of my stash.  I bought a selection of tow linen 6 some years ago to weave sauna towels from a pattern by Malin Selander.  However even with a cottolin warp the towels are very rough.  I decided to weave small tow linen sacks to hold my lucet. My design had twill stripes in 16/2 linen used double on a twill background in red tow linen 6.  I started by weaving small samples to check on the sett. 

Sacks for Lucet 

Warp: 6 tow linen in red and 16/2 linen in blue and red used double.

Weft: 6 tow linen in red

Warp order:  8 red 16/2 linen doubled; 16 red  tow; 12 blue 16/2 linen doubled; 16 red tow

12 blue 1/2 doubled; 16 red tow; 8 red 16/2 linen doubled. 

                                  before washing           after washing

16 epi sample width              4  in                        3,68 in

                      length            14.25 in                   13.25 in


18 epi sample  width            4 7/8 in                      4 in

                       length          14.75 in                      14 in


20 epi sample  width            5 3/8 in                       5 in

                       length           14.25 in                     12.5 in 



Here are the three samples side by side.



Here the samples are on top of each other so that you can see the differences in width using the different setts.

Sett: 16 epi made a firm fabric, 18 epi  was better  with a good twill line,  20 was too loose.

Second design using a plain weave background

Three samples later I decided upon the sett but then thought that the twill stripes would look better when contrasted with a plain weave background. 

This time I used natural tow linen and 16/2 blue linen for the stripes. Here are the little sacks. 



I enjoy a challenge and decided to weave more strips of material to make larger sacks to hold equipment for a workshop I will be running next year. 

My loom needed a workout so I chose a pattern using 24 shafts with an additional 2 shafts for the plain weave border. 

Sett: 21 epi  to allow for twill pattern and  plain weave areas.

9 reed threading is 2 2 3

Warp and weft = 6 tow linen.

Warp: natural with two ends of 16/2 linen at selvedge

Weft: 6 tow linen in a variety of colours.

Number of Warp ends = 210 plus 4   ends of 16/2 linen.

The first warp was in natural tow linen. 



Here are three finished bags with hanging tags and ties.



I have definitely experienced the joy of weaving sacks.

I have put on a white warp and wove material for four sacks.  I cut them off and washed the material because I wanted to see how the pattern looked when the material was finished. 

I used four patterns in 16 shaft point twill with two additional shafts for the plain weave border. 

Here are two patterns on the loom.



Here is a close up of the circles pattern.  As you can see I made a mistake early in the weaving. 



Here is another pattern before finishing.



The measurements were length: 59.5cm and width: 30 cm.

After washing the length was 56cm and the width 28cm. Here is the same diamond pattern after washing. 





The four different designs were interesting to weave. I am looking forward to finishing this warp and trying out new patterns and different coloured wefts. 



If you are not familiar with the works of Terry Pratchett you have a treat in store. Going Postal, chapter five Lost in the Post - in which Stanley experiences the joy of sacks. (page 134).

Happy weaving

Susan J Foulkes             May 2021

#rusticlinensacks





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