SUPPLEMENTARY WEFT PATTERNS-the tutorial.
You may remember these designs from a previous post on supplementary weft patterning. Now I am happy to present the promised tutorial on supplementary weft patterning together with a tiny project idea-key fobs.
This technique definitely falls into the category of those which are within the reach of beginners. We weave a simple plain weave band and then ”paint” in some motifs with an additonal weft.
Let’s look at the above key fobs-nice beginner projects. A beginner in backstrap weaving will probably start by weaving a plain band like the light blue one on the left, learning to wind an evenly tensioned warp, set up the loom, operate the sheds and keep their edges straight and even. They may then move on to the next band adding some stripes to their warp-getting used to cutting and tying on new colors at the warping board and maintaining an even tension. From there they can try horizontal stripes which involves a rearrangement of the cross on the loom-a new skill. More complex arrangements will produce staggered horizontal bands or ”combs” as in the red and black and black and white bands.
And then we come to the two supplementary weft patterned bands on the far right. I aim to show you in the following tutorial how simple this technique is.
To weave bands decorated with patterns made with a supplementary weft, I start off with a warp prepared for plain warp faced weave. For this tutorial, I have used strong primary colors which show up well in photos. My yarn is 24 wpi mercerized crochet cotton. The blue base, seen below, has a pale yellow stripe next to each edge. As I used my mini portable warping board, I have just enough warp to make two key fobs. Instead of a shed rod I am using a simple shed loop and I have put the end loops on a needle to have a smooth rather than fringed start.
You can see more about the needle start in this previous post.
We introduce the color of our choice as the supplementary weft with which to make our patterns. I am using doubled strands of embroidery floss which work really well with the 24wpi plain weave base. The supplementary weft always needs to be a lot thicker than the main weft. Embroidery floss is thick, lies flat and gives good coverage. Looking at the photos below, you will see the difference in width between the blue warp and weft threads and the yellow supplementary weft. The blue weft will continue to form the structure of the plain weave while the yellow independently forms the motifs.
THE PATTERN CHART (All the pattern charts for these projects can be seen here)
You may recognize this diamond chart from my double weave projects.
For supplementary weft patterning, we need to look at the chart in a slightly different way. In double weave the yellow spots would indicate the warps that need to be picked.
However, in this technique the yellow spots within the diamonds represent each warp that needs to be dropped in order to expose the supplementary weft.
Now let’s see this in action……..
I have opened the heddle shed and placed my beater within and I am using a pointed stick to help select and drop my warps. Reading the pattern chart from right to left and starting at the bottom, I see that I need to keep the first six warps, then drop one, keep one, drop two, keep one, drop three and so on across the row.
If you are planning your own designs, as a general rule, it is best not to have weft floats that span more than four warps. This of course will depend on how fine a yarn you are using and the purpose of the piece you are weaving. You need to consider that long floats on a key fob or bag will easily catch on things whereas on a hatband, for example, they may not be a problem. You should also take in account the fact that floats over a single warp, for example the points of the triangles in my sample design here, can barely be seen. Try to have your weft floating over a minimum of two warps.
Below are some more key fobs that I have made in a variety of techniques and yarns ranging from 12 wpi mercerized cotton to doubled sewing thread. I weave a few now and then to add to the collection and have them handy as gifts for my friends here, or back in Australia or for other travelers I meet on the road in South America. Some are finished and some are yet to be braided and sewn.
Two can be made on one warp. First I weave one and then I move the shed loop to the other side of the heddles, turn the loom around, pass a needle through the end loops and start weaving from the other end. I cut between the two small weavings when I have finished and then braid the ends or leave them as fringe.
SO WHAT HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN UP TO?
There’s nothing I like better than to see my instructions and charts put to use!
Here are some things that a couple of blog visitors have worked on……..
Amber made one African and two South American motif mug rugs on the one warp. She tied up her loom to the ladder on her sister’s bunk bed which I think is a brilliant tie up place. I am thinking about having a sturdy wooden ladder with several rungs built and screwed into a wall so that I can have different tie up places at different heights. When I am not using it for weaving, I can use it to hang things on or display weavings draped over the rungs. Thanks for the idea, Amber.
Courtney tied up her loom to a sofa bed to weave her llama band. You can read more about this project and her furry helper on her blog.
My tutorial for this one-weft double weave technique can be found in the Backstrap Weaving Group at Weavolution.
If anyone else out there is weaving the designs or using the tips from my blog, I would love to hear from you and show off your projects here. Even if you have not woven a project yet, I would love to see the backstrap loom you have put together. I hope to see what you have created with supplementray weft patterning.
Leave a comment for me here or contact me at Weavolution. You will need to join Weavolution to do so-it’s free!
Once again, thanks for visiting and thanks for all the comments! 🙂
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