Tuesday, October 19, 2010

samples

Since deciding last week not to use double weave for a small run of felted scarves, I've turned back to my little 4 harness Leclerc in my home studio. I just finished a sample scarf yesterday and will do a (very) small production run over the next week before moving on to a variation of this design. The pattern in a modified Bird's Eye woven in raw silk (down the center), merino wool (along the edges) and cotton. After weaving and fringe twisting, I dyed the whole scarf and then felted it in the washing machine.

I specifically wanted to design for felting that can be done in the washing machine instead of hand-felting each scarf....after years of laborious hand-felting, I think it's time to give my body a break, especially my wrists. The main thing with felting in the washing machine is that you can't necessarily control the felting process (unless you stop the washing machine to check every few minutes), so I've learned that this means a much denser sett (ends per inch through the reed, or e.p.i.) to give the merino less space to shrink. A lot of the work in this was figuring out the e.p.i. of the merino wool warp: I know I wanted some felting to happen, but I didn't want the result to be an over-felted short scarf with a very ruffled silk center.

What I really like about this scarf is the edges of felted merino that can be pulled up over the chin. Nice and cozy for winter. And the wave of silk and cotton diamond waves that fall nicely between the edges, keeping the scarf lightweight.

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