So, I’m writing an article (my first!) for Complex Weavers about interpreting the same draft with different warp/weft combinations for very different “looks” in the final fabric. The draft I’m using is posted on Weavolution, but it’s the same one as for my coat and for the dress fabric, the 3-strand Celtic braid.
I’ve been brainstorming ways to get different effects by varying the warp, weft, and sett using this draft, and one interesting idea came up: using rayon chenille warp or weft to give a 3-strand “raised” pattern in chenille. To make this work, though, I’d have to have a complementary warp (or weft) that could stand up to the chenille well enough to show in the background areas – if all that shows is the rayon chenille weft, the braid pattern probably won’t show. I think that might require a thicker warp, but I’m not sure. One of the things I will probably ask Laura, or else Su Butler, the rayon chenille expert!
I’m also not sure whether the rayon chenille will worm given the 3-strand floats (I think there might even be a 5-strand float on the reverse side!). However, since the rayon chenille I have is quite fine (3500 ypp or thereabouts), making the sett denser and the floats shorter, I wonder if I can get away with that.
Anyway, I’m playing with this idea right now. I’m also trying to think of other options that might complement the braid pattern – there are obviously lots of options like high twist yarn, lumpy bumpy yarn, etc. but I don’t think they would work well with the braid pattern. For a complex pattern like that, you really want smooth yarns to let the pattern show!
I’m also playing with the idea of a handpainted warp, or a thicker warp with thinner weft (compressing or stretching the pattern), or…?? I’d love suggestions, especially if they can be woven on the same warp, to make the sampling quicker.
In theory I only have 10 days to weave up the samples, but I may wind up deferring the article to the December issue of Complex Weavers, which would give me time for more exploration.
Meanwhile, what do you think of the rayon chenille idea?