Or, “Why you should wet-finish a sample before passing judgment.”
I wove up a sample with 6 fewer repeats in the ppi yesterday, and wet-finished all the samples. It turns out that the sample shrinks considerably in wet-finishing, so in the end the difference in spacing between the first full-width sample and the original sample was only 6%, not 20%! What a difference!
Here’s a photo:
I was really surprised by this – I know that samples can shrink a lot in wet-finishing, and that on the grand scale of things 12.5% really isn’t that much – but I’m used to silk warps having little to no shrinkage on wet-finishing. My theory is that since the gold metallic thread is much stiffer than the silk warp, the warp is deforming more than usual to go over and under the metallic thread. This theory is borne out by the fact that there is virtually no width-wise shrinkage – only about 1/2″ over 23″ or so – suggesting that the gold warp is not doing the over-under thing much with the warp.
At any rate, I thought about Lucinda’s comment that widening the sett would change the scale of the pattern (thanks Lucinda!), and decided that no, I didn’t want to expand the scale by 10%. It was perfect as it was, and enlarging it would make me look smaller, which at only 5’0″ I definitely don’t want! So instead I took out 6 ends from the treadling repeat, which turned out to be exactly what I needed to recover the original spacing:
The length of the motifs is still triflingly longer than in the original sample, but I actually think that looks attractive, so this is what I will weave up.
So I started weaving last night, and am about 5″ into the yardage. I will probably not use the first yard or so – it will take me that long to sort out my technique and get comfortable with the weaving. In particular, it will take me that long to figure out how to wind the pirns and identify problems with the pirns spooling off the end-feed shuttle. The gold thread is quite springy, so has a tendency to launch itself of the pirn, creating snags and snarls that pass through the tensioner and create a thick line in the fabric if I’m not ultra-careful. I’m also using two strands, which occasionally get out of sync, tangle on each other, and create a mess.
I think the answer might be to wind only half-pirns and to increase the tension on the end-feed shuttle tensioner, so it catches those snarls before they leave the shuttle – also to wind the gold thread more carefully than I have been. I’m using the “one cone atop the other” trick to wrap the threads together as they are wound, but for some reason they’re still not wrapping evenly – there may be a trick or two I can do to make them wrap more evenly around the pirn.
All stuff to explore tonight!