This morning I got up and wove another sample, this time an 8-shaft satin, at the same sett, and wet-finished it. It seems I must have gotten the sett right after all in the first sample, or rather that sett has little to no impact on the phenomenon I was seeing.
What I’m seeing is a noticeable difference in appearance between the weft-dominant and warp-dominant sides of the fabric. The weft-dominant side has a smooth, glossy surface with lots of shine The stitchers are somewhat visible in the 8-shaft version and nearly invisible in the 12-shaft version. The warp-dominant side, however, has a much softer shine and much more visible texture, not nearly as smooth and glossy as the weft-dominant side. The stitchers are more obvious as well. I wonder if this is because the warp is held under tension and the weft is not?
Regardless, I love both fabrics. I particularly like the 12-shaft satin since it is glossier and the stitchers in the weft show much less (being only 1 out of every 12 threads, as opposed to 1 out of every 8), but it is also a significantly heavier fabric, so I’m not sure I can use it for the dress. I’ll have to weave a larger sample to be sure, I think. And I think I will use the weft side as the public side, since it appears glossier.
Next on the agenda is satin stripes. I’m not sure how visible they’ll be since my max design width on this warp is only 1/4 of an inch or so (24 threads wide at 96 epi), so I could do stripes of 1/8″ by 1/8″ but that’s the widest I can do without rethreading. I’m going to try it anyway and see how I like narrow stripes. I have the feeling I’ll prefer a plain satin, but, well, we’ll see.