Saturday, 24 February 2018

36 Threads Per Inch

Two projects of wool travel shawls last year, with a third set just finished and soon ready for presentation, prompted me to weave next with finer yarns. I wanted to make big blanket scarves that wrap warmly around the neck with no possibility of itchiness or scratchiness, and which look elegant and classy in the process.

I weave my towels with 2/8 cotton, but the borders are in 2/16 cotton so that they can be folded back at the hems and be about the same thickness as the rest of the towel. The weight system for cotton means that 2/16 is half the weight of 2/8.  2/16 is slightly thicker than sewing thread, but not by much.

Blanket scarves in silky 2/16 cotton would be super, I thought. I knew it would be a tight sett, meaning many threads per inch. All the charts I checked said 36 threads/inch for 2/16 cotton in a twill weave. I had several cones in navy and purple, so I ordered more to thread alternating navy and purple. The two slightly different shades of purple give the cloth a certain unique depth I hadn't anticipated.

Such fine yarns tend to tangle more easily than my usual 2/8 cotton at 24 threads/inch, and even float in the air with a little static electricity. Beaming the loom with the 36 cones was pretty quick, but even just taking them off the racks, winding each one back up and putting them away took awhile. Then the threading ... at 26 inches wide ... that's a total of 936 threads.

It was worth it though. The blanket scarves turned out great with the alternating lengthwise stripes of straight and advancing twill. Now they'll need some time for fringing.  Here is one sample on the loom, woven with fine silk.

More later on a future blog, or feel free to ask how the fringing is going. :-)