Saturday, February 4, 2012

More on Linen

Today I finished the weaving of a set of linen scrub cloths. It’s a really cool project created by Syne Mitchell, “Spa Wash Cloth on a Rigid-Heddle Loom” . I used my Ashford Knitter’s Loom. Syne has provided very good instructions and a short video to show a looping (pile) technique.

I’d first tried this project with some Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn. The wash cloths came out ok, but I’d run short of yarn, so they were on the small side. Also, I did not take into account the shrinkage in the warp direction, so they were not square.

This time, I’ve used a Euroflax linen yarn (sport weight) for the warp in a dusty purple color, and a cotton/linen slubbed yarn for the weft in a raspberry red color. This yarn is old, left over from a knitting project I completed 20 years ago. It’s a Crystal Palace yarn, “linen rustique”.

Here’s a picture of the weaving on the loom a few days ago.

You see that the pile does not go all the way out to the selvedge. There’s about an inch of plain weave on either side of the loopy section. I mention this because it had a significant effect on the warp tension as the weaving progressed….the pile was keeping the tension in the middle of the work tight, but the edges were loose. Early on this was not a problem, but as the fabric built up on the front roller, I ended up using bits of cardboard to shim the outside warp threads on the back roller. This didn’t happen with the cotton yarns I’d used before. But linen is essentially non-elastic. This may seem like a disadvantage, but I’m getting used to it.

I’m beginning to become friends with linen. I’m hoping for a long relationship.

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