Friday, October 14, 2011

Two-Hole Plain Weave and Warp Floats

Warp: Red, white, yellow and green silk (fibreholics) (original in wool)
Weft: White silk (fibreholics) (original in linen)
Pattern: St Maurice monestary, 8-10th century (Collingwood p. 156)
Cards: 18 pattern + 2x2 border (2x3 in original).  2 holes per pattern card
Width: 7mm (original 11mm)
Length: 78cm

This band is quite different to any I have done before.  The pattern area is woven with 9 pairs of 2 tablets, each threaded in two holes.  One tablet carries a red and a white warp thread, and the other a yellow and a green (note: these are the colours I used; discussion on the colours of the original below).  The tablets are manipulated individually to form the pattern.  The interesting point is that there is no warp twining: tablets "rock" from one colour to another but never complete a full rotation.  In the pattern to the right, the coloured squares show the colour that is up.  In the squares with the grey line through them, no colour is up, and the white warp thread passes on top of the band, as though it is a brocade thread.

The original band had a border on each side of 2 white and 1 red cards threaded in all 4 holes and alternately S and Z threaded; I somehow managed to misread this completely so mine has a 2-card white border (threaded in all 4 holes) threaded S on one side and Z on the other.

The pattern I used is from page 156 of Collingwood (2002 edition). Collingwood reconstructed the pattern himself. I flubbed a couple of squares but they don't make a difference to the appearance. Collingwood says the band has black where I have green.  This band is also covered on page 171 of Brigitte Schmedding's Mittelalterliche Texitilien in Kirchen und Klöstern der Schweiz but there the colours are given as red, yellow, orange and dark blue wool, and white linen.  The dark blue is definitely in place of the black (the text refers to "St Andrews Crosses) and I'm going to guess that the white linen takes the place of the white wool (Collingwood does say the weft is white linen).  Not sure where the orange comes into it though.


(Aside: Look at that lovely clear photograph!  I've worked out I can take detailed photos with my camera, I just need direct sunlight)

To weave this bands I punched holes in the middle of the top and bottom edges of playing cards.  This gives a much greater stability to the orientation of your cards than having opposite diagonal corners threaded.  When the weft passed over both threads in a card, I turned the card on its side.  This made for a vey clear shed.

I think I wove this band a lot tighter than it should have been since the patterns were elongated.

One thing that was interesting (also, super annoying) about this band is that because the edge tablets were warp twined and the pattern tablets were not, the takeup on the edge tablets was way greater (about 10cm over the length of the band).  I was weaving on my inkle loom and I had to keep resorting to ever more elaborate techniques to mitigate the effect.  Would have been worse on the Oseberg loom though I suppose.

Also interesting is the back of the band. It appears as long floats of yellow and white, but if you "peel back" the floats you can see there are further floats of red behind the yellow and green behind the white.


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