Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Totally tubular doubleweave

The fall WAL (weave along) over at the Yarnworker School of Weaving is a loom constructed crossbody bag. I was interested in this because it uses the tubular doubleweave technique, which I've never done before. (I haven't even done regular doubleweave, to be honest.) In tubular doubleweave, you weave a flat tube - two layers of fabric that are connected at the selvedges. 

Oh sure, you could just weave a long rectangle, fold it up, and seam it... but this is more challenging and intriguing. It also requires more gear - you need two rigid heddles with the same sett to do this. The pattern calls for 8-dent rigid heddles:

The pattern calls for worsted weight cotton yarn, and I decided to use the colors of Dishie I had left over from the weft-faced mini rug project in the summer. I had to buy new heddles, but not new yarn.

I really liked the way that the mossy green (Jalapeno) and dark turquoise (Kenai) colors worked together in this mini-rug, so I decided to use those as the main colors in the bag. 

I used the green as warp and also threw in some pops of yellow and orange. The weft was entirely Kenai. On its own, the warp had a very 1970s vibe - but it changes a lot when the weft interacts with it.

One thing I'm still working on is my tension. I was concentrating really hard on not pulling the weft too tight and creating draw-in, but I think I left it too loose. It's not too bad in the above photo, which was taken at the very end of the project... but it was looser toward the beginning. I didn't fret about it too much because this is a skill builder project and the emphasis is on learning.

I'm not used to weaving with such plump yarns. Fixing this float was a breeze! Do you see it here? I used the scissors to point to it. It is a green warp float:

It was super easy to just pull out that warp end and needle weave it back in the correct position. 

I wet finished this fabric in hot water and Soak in the kitchen sink, with some agitation. I wanted it to shrink and eliminate some of the spaces. Here is a pre-finishing shot of the fabric I wove at the very beginning. See how floppy the selvedges are and how open the web is?

I decided to toss it in a hot dryer after its time in the hot bath. This helped.

I learned another new technique for the strap - this is a tubular woven strap. It's basically the i-cord of weaving. Instead of passing the shuttle back and forth across the warp, you only pass it in one direction (and carry it behind before the next pass). It creates a warp-faced fabric, which I didn't entirely anticipate. If I had, I would have used some Kenai in the warp (which was only 8 ends). You can see I used green, yellow, and orange in the warp. You only see little pops of Kenai every so often (the weft). I love how it creates a spiral effect.

As written, the pattern creates two flaps. You can finish them in different ways, if you want, and get two different looks. Just tuck the flap you're not using into the bag. I decided I wasn't into a fussy fringe for this bag and worked the fringeless finish on both flaps. Basically, you just needle weave in the warp ends, and cut them off. You can see that this creates a different fabric for that hem area, because the warp ends are effectively doubled and that makes the warp color more prominent:

The second flap I finished came out better than the first one, so it's easy to decide which one to fold inside and hide! 

At the bottom, I worked a twisted fringe. I did not try to make the knots match up, because there are twice as many knits as usual (doubleweave fabric) and they would knot into each other and splay out if I did that. Also, it makes it easier to work that fringe if you don't obsess about the knot placement too much. I used a rotary cutter to cut the edges.

This was a fairly quick project with a lot of new-to-me techniques in it. It was just the thing to get me back on the loom, from which I had been absent for a couple of months. In fact, I've already warped the big loom for a new set of towels. I'll tell you more about those another time!

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting technique! I'm having some trouble picturing the mechanics even with your great descriptions, and I wonder how somebody first worked this out. Very nice!