After talking it over with Sharon and spending some time thinking through the possibilities, I believe I’m going to try for the gold “gauze” with the multicolored leaves floating on top. This requires drastic replanning of my next sample warp. I had originally planned it to be a white tencel warp, with a gold embroidery thread carried along with every fourth thread. Simple, no?
But now the foreground contains the colored leaves, so the warp and weft colors will need to change for each leaf-section. Which means painting the warp and dyeing skeins for the weft, choosing colors for each leaf separately.
The weave structure will need to change, too, since I want different woven patterns for each leaf. This means designing nine or ten different structures, one for each leaf. With the “risers and sinkers” structure I’ve created, that shouldn’t be too difficult…assuming I remember how it works! But it is still nine or ten drafts I will need to create.
Finally, I will need to reinforce the selvages so the fabric can be sewn, even after burnout. Still need to figure out what threads to use for that.
This is all sounding fairly complex for a sample, but fortunately, we are still in throwaway-sample land – it doesn’t matter if I don’t get the colors spot on, or if I space out the color changes wrong, or if the patterns don’t quite suit. The purpose of this particular sample is primarily to see whether the idea works, structurally speaking: can I make a fabric this way that has the characteristics that I want, and is stable enough to work with? If it answers that question, then it has succeeded.
That said, I also want it to answer a number of other questions if I can – mostly, questions about leaf color, pattern, and placement, though the weaving setup also requires some experimentation. But the primary question in my mind is, “Can I create this fabric, burn out the extra threads, and still have something stable enough to sew?” I have some ideas about how to stabilize the fabric – mostly centered around adhesives and/or machine embroidery – but no idea how they will play out in practice. So this is the main question I want to address.
So the next few days will be dedicated to designing and setting up the next set of samples. It’s giving me headaches just thinking about all the complications to sort out – but this is the sort of thing I live for! – so I think it will be a lot of fun.