Sunday, February 28, 2016

Igor's Japanese Inspired Shawl

The Reno Fiber Guild is doing a year long study of Japanese Textiles.  Igor Raven started out with the idea of weaving a furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) but wanted enough warp to weave a shawl too.  The furoshiki is still waiting to be hemmed, but the shawl has made it through the many layered process and is now a reality. 
The first step was to choose a draft.  The has drafts from the Japanese book,  Orimono Soshiki Hen by Yoshida, Kiju which was published in 1903.  Igor chose draft 44385.  He wanted some gold threads in his piece, so he added another two shafts to the original draft for some plain weave stripes in metallic.  Also, there are 10 plain weave threads on each selvedge to form a border.

Igor's main warp stripes were 10/2 Tencel in bronze and red.  The metallic was a 20/3 thread (incidentally made in Japan) and he used two gold warp threads as one in the stripe between the pattern blocks.

He had planned the warp for 24 epi and a total of 611 threads plus 2 for floating selvedges (weighted separately).  That was 7 pattern repeats and would have used the full width of the special 26" reed for his Baby Wolf loom.  After he started weaving, it became apparent that the sett should be closer, so he resleyed the reed at 25 epi - thus losing that extra width he had planned on.


The weft yarns were two shades of lavender used in alternating shots - also 10/2 Tencel. These colors add an iridescent quality to the cloth when it catches the light at different angles.

Before washing the cloth the fringe was cut to 7 inches and twisted with seed beads added. Washing was by hand in hot water, wrapped in towels and then dried flat.

 It's a luxurious shawl - long and very fluid.  The beads in the fringe catch the light and sparkle.  A successful piece.
A little addendum to this post.  Igor's shawl won the best of the handwoven division at the Nevada County Fair (August 2016). 

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