Saturday, August 4, 2012

Handwoven Bandanas

Bandanas have always been part of my life and  I grew up using them.  You wrapped one around your hair to keep it out of the way when you had outdoor work to do.  You might use them to mop the sweat from your brow, use a clean one for a napkin, or in some cases as a handkerchief.  My grandfather was never without one and I remember buying him a new one from my meager allowance to give as a Christmas gift.

 It's been several years ago that I woven bandanas, but it was fun and I thought I would share the details since I happen to think they are as practical today as there were in past years.  And, handwoven bandanas will last a lot longer than the flimsy cotton ones imported from wherever they come from these days.

It started with a profile draft.  I played around until I found something that  looked bandana like.  These were going to be woven substituting a 2/1 twill for each of the blocks, making it an 18 shaft weave.

profile draft for bandana

I had lots of 16/2 unmercerized cotton, so I wound a 9 yard warp, 30" wide and sett at 30epi. For each bandana, I varied the treadling sequence and since the warp was red, sometimes I used white, natural, black or navy for the weft.  It resulted in 10 bandanas and I made a note that I should have used a basketweave selvedge since I had enough shafts to do that.  As a result of a not so perfect selvedge, the bandanas were hemmed on all four sides.

I've given away some to special friends who love to hike - one to a gardening daughter and kept one for myself.  I still have some to share with my handwoven loving customers.  I hope they will enjoy using them or giving them to outdoor folks - who sometimes need a bandana!

I thought that this Wikapedia entry was interesting about the origins of the bandanna - bandana or kerchief.  Whatever you want to call them or however you want to spell them, they are fun to wear.

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