Friday, 4 September 2009

A jumble of pleats, part 1

With four of the five pleated scarves woven and my taking a break before weaving the fifth, it seemed a good time to blog the results of the experiments I've done on this warp. You can see from the image above, I've achieved some very different effects from the brown-and-beige striped warp I've had on the loom lately!

Because the pleats are designed to bend with the changing colours of the stripes, one side will appear all black with the beige in the bend of the pleat, and the other side will appear predominatly beige as the pleat beings the beige to the front and draws the black into the pleat. You can see both sides of the scarf in the image below.
The first scarf woven was straight 3/1, 1/3 pleats as I'd woven on the other warps. The ends were woven with a soft beige-grey 60/2 silk weft, and the main body of the scarf with a black 70/2 silk weft. You can see the margin of the two wefts in the image above.

When you stretch the pleats out, the effect is quite lovely.

The second scard was woven much the same as the first, but with a pale grey 60/2 silk weft and a reversing of the treadles. Instead of a constant repeat of 1-2-3-4 treadles, I'd treadle 1-2-3-4 six times, then treadle 4-3-2-1 six times. The effect was a lovely reversing twill pattern on both sides, but no difference to the structure of the pleats themselves, aside from a slight tendency to waviness that may have more to do with where they folded over the clothesline while drying.

Conclusion (a fairly obvious one): reversing the twill, while giving lovely patterns to look at in the fabric structure within the pleats, doesn't intrinsically alter the 3/1, 1/3 structure of the pleats, so won't alter the overall collapse pattern of the fabric.

But the patterns are, nonetheless, lovely, and open the way for ideas of pleated fabrics that are composed of a more complex twill structure. Something to think about and explore another day.

The obvious next step was to retie the loom and look at reversing the pleats themselves. More on that in the next post.


  1. I love these scarves. I love what you're doing. And, may I add, you're making it easy for me to learn this technique, as I must weave at least one scarf in pleats for a friend later this year.

  2. And I love, love, love the top photo.

  3. Meg, I'm so pleased you're finding this of use! As I keep saying, it's something that yields rewarding results for a very simple understanding of structure and sett.

  4. That pleated effect with the color change is great!

  5. This is fantastic, I love the colors and the pleated effect! I really want to try this sometime. The idea of getting pleats by reversing the twill is ingenious!

  6. Charlotte, thankyou! I do recommend trying this technique, it's really rewarding.