Friday, 20 February 2009

A bit crinkly

I've started making samples to play with pleats. Pleats are easiest made with alternating stripes of 1/3 and 3/1 twill, and a fairly close set. Many people recommend also using an overtwisted yarn in the weft, but that's not necessary. For this set of samples I wanted to see whether I could create soft pleats rather than a strongly pleated fabric. I warped up a 2/30 merino yarn, with occasionall ends of the olive-coloured silk cap and merino handspun used in the "moss on oak" scarf. I dyed the merino an oaky green to complement the handspun. I sleyed it quite tightly for 2/30, at 30 epi - but not set as tightly as I would for tighter pleats.

To be honest, I don't think this draft does the odd shot of handspun favours but I'm going to play some more and see how it goes. I'm thinking that a more balanced weave suits contrasting threads better. I'm very pleased with the level of soft pleating however, and want to play more with this. You can also see clearly in the photo above the difference different weft materials have on the pleating effect - the beige at the bottom is commercial rayon yarn, a slightly thicker grist than the warp. The green weft at the top is dyed hand-spun silk cap, a slightly finer grist than the weft, but not the half-thickness of the weft often recommended for strong pleats.

There's been a lot of shrinkage in the wet finishing. The scarf went from 7.5 inches wide in the reed to 5.5 inches wet-finished.

So much for having a nice easy weave with this project, again! I'm finding that the 2/30 at this set is very sticky, and I'm having to clear the shed with my hand before each and every pick.


  1. The sample looks beautiful, and I do like the soft pleats. To me, the colors are very English as well. And the mood of the photos.

  2. I've been experimenting with 3/1 1/3 as well, with less positive results so far! The green silk cap weft section looks particularly lovely, both colour and movement in the cloth.

  3. Meg: thankyou!

    Fibres: I'll have to check you out!