drawings of weavings

Sometimes my free time is very limited (I work full-time as a seamster in San Francisco, and am also a single parent of two teens) but I still want to have my own creative outlet. So I started to doodle and draw and got hooked on making drawings of weavings. I can draw just a few lines here and there during the work week and finish the drawings over the weekend.

white grid towels

I am giving the tenugui project a rest and am continuing on a warp on my other loom, a four-shaft counterbalance from a manufacturer called The Burchard Weavers in Oakland, which built looms for a short period in the 1930s.

It is great working again with the 20/2 linen yarn, and I cannot remember why I got bored with the warp before, seriously. I want to improve the pattern though next time and make the grid a little bit smaller. The images below show the same design but in different colors (unbleached and black).

warp: 20/2 Normandy linen, half-bleached and unbleached
weft: 20/2 Normandy linen, half-bleached and unbleached
sett: 20 epi
warp ends: 360
threading: plain weave (1-2-3-4)
reed: 10 dents (2)
weaving size: 18″ x 29″
hems: hem-stitched on the loom, 4 threads per stitch
status: in progress

tenugui 02

Hand-woven linen towel, tenugui style

See my previous post on what tenugui means, and my trouble using a single-ply linen warp. Even by liberally applying sizing, the shed problems got so bad that I took a break from weaving this second tenugui-inspired towel until I have a solution or more time and patience.

warp: 20/1 Växbo linen, unbleached
weft: 20/1 Växbo linen, black
sett: 40 epi
warp ends: 600
threading: plain weave variation
(1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1-6)
reed: 16 dents (2-3 ends per dent)
weaving width: 15″
status: in progress

tenugui 01

Hand-woven linen towel, tenugui style

tenugui are long and narrow Japanese cotton towels with unfinished hems. They are traditionally used as scarves, headbands, kerchiefs, gift wrappings, and hand towels. Many tenugui are beautifully dyed or printed and are used for decoration.

When I learned about tenugui and their relevance in Japanese culture, I was fascinated. I especially like the idea to use the same item in multiple ways, and to keep the cloth very light and the hem unfinished so that it dries really fast.

I attempted to make my own version of a tenugui-style towel in linen. I chose a much thinner yarn than I usually work with to achieve a lighter fabric and also kept the hems unfinished. The new yarn turned out very difficult for me to weave. Through the help of other weavers I learned that a single-ply linen yarn always needs sizing, that means treatment with a flax seed or starch solution to prevent the single threads from tangling. Even with sizing, I am still struggling to achieve the consistent open shed needed for weaving. While the resulting towel is exactly how I imagined it, the weaving process was very frustrating and prone to errors.

warp: 20/1 Växbo linen, unbleached
weft: 20/1 Växbo linen, half-bleached
sett: 40 epi
warp ends: 600
threading: plain weave variation
(1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1-6)
reed: 16 dents (2-3)
weaving size: 15″ x 40″
finished size: 14″ x 38″