After two years of lampas I was looking for a new structure to explore. First, I wanted to create a more flexible, drapable, airy fabric. Second, I was wanting a way to weave something relating to the drawing and sketching lately on my mind. A look of the drawn line.
In my library is a pair of treasured books by Doris Goerner, Woven Structure and Design, Parts 1 & 2. In Part 2, Compound Structures, is a design for a jacquard fabric that Goerner labels "Fabric with extra weft. 1 warp—2 weft systems". She further states, "Coarse weft yarn figuring sparingly used on a fine and dense ground weave can produce very attractive designs." This fabric is, in a word, brocade. The ground is a plain weave that could stand alone if the figuring weft is removed. The figuring weft goes from selvedge to selvedge.
I've used this structure from time to time in jacquard work, but I was really eager to work out a rational system for employing it on the dobby loom. It occurred to me that basing the float system on an 8-end satin, it could be used on all the common dobby configurations, namely 8, 16, 24, 32, and 40 shafts, on a straight threading or a threading plotted on a network of an 8-end initial. Moreover, If all the float positions were built on a common satin interlacement, there would be no floats longer than 7; and the straight or networked threading would enable a plain weave ground, paving the way for a lighter cloth. I could use more or fewer rows of plain weave between brocade picks, to provide the desired degree of lightness.
This is a brand new warp on my 16-shaft dobby loom. After correcting a couple of threading errors, I tried a few inches of brocade on a plain weave ground. There are two rows of plain weave after each brocade pick. The effect of the sketchy line comes through as I had hoped. I think after finishing it will have the lighter hand I was hoping for.
As the ties are spread out over equally over all 16 shafts, there will be no issues of unequal tension in the warp. I'm looking forward to a lot of sampling on this warp.
Don't you just love a new project?