Friday, January 16, 2009

Linen/Cotton Towel & Drawloom Heddles


The first towel off this current warp is finished. I had hemstitched this one, washed it in warm water (in a front-loading washer), dried it on Normal, then checked dimensions. Off the loom, prior to finishing, the towel measured 30" in length by 16" in width. After finishing, the measurements were 22.75" by 14.5" losing 7.25" (24%) by 1.25" (8%). I was especially amazed by the shrinkage in length as I didn't recall previously woven towels or runners woven with cottolin losing that many inches. (These measurements do not include fringe.)

I also noticed there seemed to be some tracking which I was not expecting. I've not had tracking occur occur before with cottolin but this weft is a single linen/cotton slub/flake type yarn. After sorting out the tangled fringe, the towel was spritzed with water, ironed with steam, then ironed again without steam. When fairly dry, I rotary cut the fringe leaving it 1.25" in length.

I am quite pleased with this first towel and looking forward to weaving up more, varying the wefts and textures.


In addition to weaving and working on socks, I have been making long-eye heddles (using seine twine) for my single unit drawloom. Though I had started slow, I suddenly became determined to finish them so over the past few evenings, I have been cutting and tieing heddles. Last night I had 350 left to go, cut but needing to be tied, so I decided at midnight I would finish them all before going to bed. At 5 AM this morning I tied the 1,000th long-eye heddle. They are ready to put on the ground shafts, and I can go back to making more pattern heddles.

Now it is back to weaving and sock-cranking for awhile, along with some spinning but, there are two more tubes of seine twine on the way. About three years ago, I bought a 20 shaft opphampta attachment to add to my countermarche loom. There were no heddles included for either ground or pattern shafts, so after a reasonable break, I have two more sets of heddles to make.

Yes, I could use Texsolv heddles, but the cost of purchasing two thousand long-eye heddles would be around $340 plus shipping. That plus two more sets of heddles for another loom is an expense I could not make. Options needed to be considered and choices made based on funds available and other business needs and priorities. Also, the single unit drawloom already has 1,000 of the old-style string heddles on it and I just could not see replacing them as they work fine. So for the cost of a board, nails, and one tube of seine twine ($22), plus my time, I now have the 1,000 heddles I needed. I will do the same for the opphampta attachment. I have the gratification of not only saving funds on one item which will allow me to take care of a future need, but I enjoyed making the heddles. They were portable and I took them with me to work on when I had to wait, as well as working on them late in the evenings. One set done, two to go.

3 comments:

fibresofbeing said...

I recently did a sample, summer and winter, using cottolin for warp and both pattern and tabby wefts. I got 22% shrinkage in length and 15% in width after wet finishing. My lengthwise loss is very similar to yours - I was surprised to get so much.
Just found your blog from your post to the feltmakers list and am looking forward to reading more about your projects.
Judy

Janice Zindel said...

Hi Judy,
I just popped into your blog and will be coming back when I can sit and read. Wonderful weaving! It's been awhile since I wove with cottolin and the shrinkage surprised me. So glad I took that towel off the loom to do finishing before weaving any more of them. Looking forward to getting back to some felting, too. ~Jan

Cherri said...

Like your linen. And the loom