I finished weaving off the warm brown set of samples:
And here it is against an hand-dyed orange background (commercial silk) that I had lying around:
And here is a good look at the metallic nylon vs. gold embroidery thread sections:
I’m still on the fence about the metallic nylon vs. gold embroidery thread. It’s primarily a question of distance. At a distance, the glitter of the metallic nylon (much brighter in real life) draws the eye instantly to the leaves, but up close it obscures the underlying pattern. The gold reveals more of the cloth, and is a more appropriate color than the nylon, but has a more subtle effect. I will have to meditate on this some more.
I am also thinking about value. The leaves, which are medium in value, naturally stand out more when the background is either very dark or very light. Because I want to have a feel of light in the overall piece, I think I will be making the background very light. This means I need to make the yellow leaves somewhat darker than I normally would, so they stand out well. It also raises the interesting question of whether the leaves should be all the same value – I will need to experiment about that. Making the leaves progressively darker near the bottom, on a white background, will lead the viewer’s eye down. Which I will also have to think about; normally, clothing is designed to keep the focus on the top half of the wearer, not the bottom half!
Lots of ideas buzzing around in my head! I think probably the best way of answering them is to do a two-pronged sample set. First, I need to work out the questions of color and value; that is best done by dyeing/burning out commercial cloth. (Not as good as weaving up fabric, but a lot faster – I can try ten or twenty combinations in less time than it would take me to weave up one!) Second, I need to get a final answer to my question “metallic nylon or gold embroidery thread?” The latter is important because I am coming to the end of my 7-yard sampling warp and therefore need to decide what to put on the loom next. I want to put on an extremely long warp with tencel and a metallic thread, which I can hopefully use both for samples and for weaving the final fabric. But I need to decide on a metallic thread first!
So this weekend will mostly be dedicated to dyeing commercial cloth. I may drape the rectangles of cloth on a dress form, too, to get a preliminary idea of what it will look like when sewn up and worn.