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Sunday, 7 June 2015

Weaving of a different kind

I've had this sari silk for a long time – Mum bought it for me years ago – so this year since I'm all about India, with my trip planned for October, I wanted to find an opportunity to use it.
I've also been learning how to use a table loom for the last few months – following on from my experience with a backstrap loom last year . So here were the beginnings of my latest project – a woven scarf. I wanted to use the colours of the sari silk (which is looking mostly green and red above, but believe me, contains a multitude of different hues) balanced with something more neutral. The sari silk was to be the highlight rather than the focus.

I decided on a navy cotton for my warp, along with threads of the sari silk, and for my weft I wanted to create a checked effect, with blocks of colour broken up by smaller sections of plain navy contrasted with the sari silk. I left myself some room on the warp for testing, and these were the colours I eventually settled on for the weft.
And so to the weaving... The scarf was to be nearly two metres long, all in a plain weave, and it took me a couple of days. I'm still pretty new to this weaving business, so the selvedge varies in width a bit, and it was quite surprising how differently that hot pink felt to weaving the other colours as it's a different type of cotton. Overall though, it was turning out just how I'd hoped.
I cut the scarf off the loom – a bit of a scary business – on Wednesday, tied all the ends, gave it a wash and a press, and here you have it. It was quite stiff and crinkly when it first came off the loom, but it softened a lot with the first wash, so over time I expect it will feel very different.
It also has a nice sheen to it that doesn't come up very well in the photos, but the weft cottons are all mercerised so have that nice lustre to them.
Given the colours in my wardrobe, I expect it this will get quite a lot of wear!

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