Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What does spin-patterned cloth look like?

From: Deborah

Now I'm just desperate to know what spin-patterned cloth looks like.  I Googled it but got all kinds of things that are clearly not spin patterned cloth.  Do you have any links to good photos of this???
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A spin pattern, the way I'd imagined it, is a very subtle texture on cloth created by the difference in S- and Z-twist yarns of the same colour. Some fibres spin tighter in one direction than another, so the threads would be slightly thinner and denser--unless the spinner is particularly exacting. Textiles fit for royalty, of course, would have been spun by the best, but even if the yarn was the same size the light would catch them differently.

At least that's what I imagined. But I couldn't find any pictures. So I asked the amazing Astrid Bear, a weaver, for help. She came up with a couple of things for me to look at. Neither is quite what I'd imagined.

The first is like seersucker, way too...messy for Hild. I can see that today it might work for women who want a floaty, romantical kind of dress, or perhaps as a flimsy underdress in hot weather (not as much fabric would touch the skin which means that you'd stay cooler). But it's not really Hild's style.

The second (scroll down to the blue cushions) isn't quite right, either, because the subtlety is obscured by the difference in colour.

So if anyone out there can help Deborah--and me--please point us in the right direction.

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7 comments:

  1. http://www.miklagard.nvg.org.au/articles/legwraps3.htm

    You can use the reversal to create chevrons, twills, diamond shapes, etc., without changing the color of the fabric.

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    1. Well, sure. You don't need to use the subtle variation of s- and z-twist for that, though.

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  2. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZljldSpV28UC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=%22spin-pattern+cloth%22&source=bl&ots=iLQX-Nf_ns&sig=tz31EkW581MmpnPZFQRN7FSKgtQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RDTgUt_0D7OksQTTrYCYBw&ved=0CHQQ6AEwCw#v=onepage&q=%22spin-pattern%20cloth%22&f=false

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    1. Interesting. I wish the picture quality were better. At that resolution I can't see the difference between that and ordinary houndstooth weave (a variety of twill).

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  3. Nicola, I'm the blogger the you linked to in the first example of fabric woven with S & Z twist yarns. I was going for the handspun, free-form look -- but if you want precision (which I also love), please look at the work of Ann Richards, who lives near London. She is a renowned handweaver who has recently written a book, "Weaving Textiles That Shape Themselves." Her work is exquisite. In fact, I will be taking a course with her this summer at the Handweaver's Studio and Gallery in London. There are others working in the same vein, and I can let you know more if you are interested. Best wishes in your search and in your writing!

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  4. Nicola, I am sending a postscript, because in the field of handweaving, there is an entire sub-category devoted to this wonderful question of S & Z twist yarns. It falls under the broad name of "Collapse Weave." If you want to know more, there is an international organization called Complex Weavers that includes a study group on this (oversubscribed at this point). The website is www.complex-weavers.org. Also, I do have a photo of hand knitting with hand spun S & Z twist yarns, which produces a herringbone effect. I can send it to you if you're interested.

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    1. Denise, this is wonderful information. Thank you! And, yes, I'd love to see the photo.

      asknicola2 at nicolagriffith dot com

      Thank you again.

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