Sunday, 1 May 2022

Weaving a set of placemats

I am weaving a set of four placemats and a centre mat. The warp is 6/2 cotton in blue and white.  The weft is 3/2 cotton in white. 

Sett: 27 ends per inch.  3 warp ends per dent in a 9 dent reed.

I calculated the shrinkage of the small sample piece I had woven all those years ago.  It is 9% so I increased the measurements accordingly allowing for hems for each mat. 

Number of warp ends: 398 This gives an extra two warp ends at one side to balance the design. The warp is approximately 14.7 inches at the reed which I hope will give the width I need once the material is off the loom and washed. Each pattern group of vertical twill is 11 warp ends. It is a 5/1 twill. 

Here is the cloth on the loom.  I am using a rug shuttle because the weft is relatively thick. I have not used this type of shuttle for some time and it took a while to get used to it. For the hem at each end I used a finer weft, 6/2 cotton and wove ten picks in plain weave. This ensures that the hem will be less bulky than using the thicker weft. 

Close up of weaving on loom

Comparison with sample.

I wove a length of 48 cm on the loom which shrank to 44 cm when removed from the loom. I hemmed the piece and washed it to check the shrinkage. 
I was not satisfied with this sample as the white warp shows through the colour stripes.  The width of the material needs to shrink more so that the blue warp stripes are more pronounced. The weft travels over 9 warp ends on every other pick. This will make the width of the cloth shrink.

Reverse of weave draft showing weft floats

The reverse of the material shows how firmly I was beating the weft. 

Top mat weft beaten lightly. Bottom mat weft beaten firmly.

I tries another sample and I decided to beat less firmly. The ppi is now 16 per inch. I was careful to angle the weft at no more than 2 inches up the opposite side of the warp. The weft goes over 10 warp threads 
I took this sample off the loom, hemmed and washed it. 

Turn over the plain weave picks and iron firmly.

Now turn the raw edge under and press firmly.

Once the hems are pressed, pin the hem. The edges can be hemmed and pressed. 

Hemming the placemat.

Before washing.
Width on loom with  no tension  33 cms
Woven length on loom not under tension ( not including hem) 47.5 cm 
Off loom and hemmed  length:   46.5 cms

After washing
Width  31.5 cm
Length: 44 cms

For this placemat, the warp stripes were more pronounced so I wove the rest of the warp. 

All the placemats are finished.  Here they are.

These placemats are a replacement for the set I wove in 2014.  

Susan J Foulkes  May 2022.

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