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???
Wikimedia Commons
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.