I recently completed a beach towel project with 8/4 cotton warp and boucle weft, 2/2 twill at 12 epi (based on Jane's master sett chart). I finally got my head around whether I needed floating selvedges or not. I decided I did not, since I was weaving straight 2/2 twill and I figured out a threading and tie-up that would allow me to catch the outside threads every time (tried to capture this in the attached diagram!).
My project was 36" wide in the reed (the widest thing I've woven yet!). What I found was that my draw-in was quite a bit higher than I planned for (it was 2" total rather than the 1" that I estimated). I was careful with my sweet spot and followed the throw-beat-change-beater back sequence recommended by Jane. At this width I thought it might be that I couldn't get enough angle on my weft thread so I also tried pushing my weft thread up in the middle (creating a weft "bubble") which gave me more weft length and seemed to help a bit. But no matter what I did I still ended up with 2" of draw-in. In spite of that I think my selvedges look ok.
Here are my questions:
- Is that much draw-in to be expected with a project of this width and/or with twill weave with this warp/weft thread and epi?
- would adding floating selvedges help to reduce my draw-in?
- I'd prefer slightly stiffer/less drapey towels and was wondering if twill weave tends to be more drapey than plain weave?
- I also had 14% shrinkage in the width rather than the 10% I estimated, and wondered if that's because of the 8/4 cotton or some other factor?
It looks great to me, Dana! Now to your questions:
- your draw-in is likely because of the 8/4 cotton and the floats that the 2/2 twill creates.
- floating selvedges would not make for less draw-in. They are all about controlling and securing long floats on the edge of your cloth.
- Twill loves to drape because of its floats, so plain weave will be a slightly stiffer fabric. Do you have enough warp to sample the difference?
- shrinkage is measured in percentage - which you planned as 10%. Your beach towel was 36” in your reed - so you would plan for 3.6 inches shrinkage adding that to the width of your warp when planning.
- adding the “bubble” as you weave will help you maintain the width you are expecting and also add more drape to your towel.
The 8/4 cotton loves to drape - it’s not a tightly spun yarn.
A couple of follow up questions:
- It totally makes sense to me that the twill floats would cause more draw-in, but why would 8/4 cotton (or generally a heavier thread) result in more draw-in?
- Is there a good rule of thumb for estimating draw-in for twill and/or for 8/4 cotton warp?
- My finished width with shrinkage was 29". I wanted 32". I estimated 10% shrinkage on 33" (finished width of 32" plus 1" draw-in). Since I had more draw-in than anticipated, I can see that I underestimated the shrinkage in total inches, but it also seems that it shrunk more than 10%, and I was wondering why that might be. Hope I'm making sense here!
Here are my calcs:
Finished width: 32 "
Draw In: 1"
10% Shrinkage: 3.3"
Width in reed: 36.3"
Total # threads: 436
I've finished the project so no chance to sample the difference with plain weave, but it makes total sense to me now that plain weave would be stiffer. I think I'm going to try that next!
Did you keep track of how many ppi you were getting as you wove? You've woven it beautifully but yarns can be different and the only way to find how the yarns you plan to use will work for your project, is to sample beforehand. Make notes of your results for future reference and build your own book with the results you get and questions you have as you continue weaving. I'm totally impressed that this is only your 3rd project - be patient with yourself. Your friend will love the gift you have woven for her and unless you point out that it's narrower than you wanted it to be - only we will know - and I don't think any of us will tell her 🤫
I always add at least 1/2 yard to every warp I wind to give me the option to sample. If it's one of Jane's patterns, I know that they have been checked and double-checked and will give me the results I'm looking for. If it's something I've created out of yarns that I'm not familiar with - I sample. Weaving isn't always and exact science.
Bottom line - you have a very successful project - even if it's a bit narrower than you planned. It will be used and loved by your friend. Like Deb - it makes me want to weave a beach towel ;-)
Thanks for the words of encouragement Sandra 😃 Yes I did keep track of ppi, I actually used a triangle to check that I was weaving the twill at 45 degrees 🤓. It definitely wavered and I have sections that have slightly higher ppi (I find it challenging to keep ppi steady and I was having to beat quite lightly to maintain 45 degrees / 12 ppi). Sampling is something I have yet to do but it definitely seems worth it - I'm a bit impatient and just want to get on with it!
Thanks Deb! The design is based on the suffragette flag, made for a dear feminist friend's 50th birthday :D. I'm very excited about weaving hand-made towels! This is my first attempt, think I'll try some hand towels next. But either a twill with higher epi (14? 16?) or I'll go with plain weave for a slightly less drapey fabric.
Double is easy. Trust me. If I can do it anyone can! 😂
Just watch Jane’s episode on double width and you’ll be off and running. I’m addicted to making blankets, and in the beginning I was baffled by it.