Thursday, June 4, 2015

Things That Can Go Wrong in Weaving, #2

Weavers know that one of the most common mistakes you can make while weaving is a treadling mistake--that is, pressing the wrong treadles (pedals) with your feet, thereby disrupting the regular weaving pattern.

I was weaving merrily along on these cotton dishtowels, enjoying the extended twill pattern that was making a nice thick diagonal texture on the fabric, when I noticed: 

treadling error in an extended twill weaving structure

See the weird line running across the fabric, about 2" below the fell (the last row woven)?  I hiccuped somehow there, and kept weaving without noticing my mistake, or rather, thinking it was an error in beat that would work itself out.  To be honest, sometimes it's hard to see treadling errors while sitting at the loom--you have to get up and look at them at an angle from a greater distance.  

Anyway, this was a treadling mistake, and the only way to fix it is to unweave.  Since I'd woven so far past the mistake, unweaving with the shuttle and treadles--basically reversing every press of a treadle and throw of the shuttle--would be very tedious.  I decided to cut out the woven wefts back to the point where I'd made the mistake.

This takes three things:  nerve, a steady hand, and very sharp, pointed scissors. 

cutting out the weft in small sections
Basically you separate the warps enough to insert your scissors, cutting down between two warps, carefully avoiding snipping either warp as you cut through row after row of weft.  Then you carefully pull apart the warps in each section, which allows you to loosen and pull out the cut wefts.  It takes some time.  I am happy to report that this time I did not cut any warps.  Thank goodness for small victories. 

All the weft has been pulled out, except for one or two loose ends.
Then, once you've pulled out all the cut wefts and determined where you left off in the weaving sequence, all that remains is to re-weave. 

Fabric re-woven, without treadling error
Ahh.  This looks better. 

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