Someone asked about the reverse face, so here it is:
It’s still striking, but not nearly as nice as the front face. For one thing, the neat twill arrows on the front are replaced by black weft floats on the back. Still, it looks really interesting.
Following Laura’s advice, I gave the back a hard press and then did the front again. Amazing! The cloth feels much more cohesive now and the silk just glows. You can feel the difference really easily. I may even go so far as to do a fourth and fifth pressing!
(I discovered a secret for doing a hard press, by the way: I lowered the ironing board to mid-thigh instead of waist height. After doing that, I could lean in and use my body weight to press, which was a lot easier than using shoulder muscle. The magic of ergonomics!)
A brief plug for Laura’s book, Magic in the Water: it is a phenomenally useful book for understanding wet-finishing. It’s not cheap, but it is really really good and it contains samples showing how fabrics change when wet-finished, pressed, etc. – if a picture is worth a thousand words then a sample that you can see and feel must be worth a million!
Anyway, I wound up putting in a sixteen-hour day (count ’em: sixteen) at work yesterday, due to a major client crisis, so not a whole lot got done. I did manage to squeeze in some weaving in during a couple of short sanity breaks, though, so I’m about a yard into the second piece. I calculate that I’ll need 7.5 yards for the second piece, leaving me about 2-3 yards of usable warp left on the loom. I’m considering making myself a vest from the remaining warp. Or maybe a shawl for my friend in India (who could use the warmth). Haven’t decided for sure – I figure I’ll burn that bridge once I get there. 🙂
No word on the rental house yet, I’m calling them again tonight.