I am in the middle of a time constrained project and out of one color of yarn. I am weaving towels to donate to a fund raiser for my children's school, so being late is not an option. The project is 3 colors of 8/2 cotton in the warp (white/black/white/teal) and the same repetion in the weft. I am now out of white(poor planning) and it is backordered. I have enough 8/2 cotolin in the same color, manufactured by the same company. Do I dare substitute? I would appreciate any input.
I wouldn't exchange cotton for cottolin in the middle of a towel.
I wouldn't change from cotton to cottolin in mid towel either. However, an asymmetric striping, with one end different from the other might fold to hang nicely and be an interesting variation. Then the next towel just use a striping without the missing color. Or, a solid. Or, all cottolin weft.
Running out of something is often an opportunity for broadening our design skills!
Who's brand of yarn are you using?
Cotton and cottolin take dye differently and the naturals have slight different casts.
Many years ago, faced with something similar, I did my warp with 8 threads cotton and 2 cottolin with a handspun linen weft - gorgeous fabric with the regular progression. Would have been a disaster if I'd used all cotton til Ii ran out and then changed - you can, 20+ years later, still detect the subtle stripe of the contrasting naturals.
Try to figure out something similar for your towel - bet it will be stunning.
I might have some white Valley yarns 8/2 - how soon do you need it? You can email me if needed.
Are you in the process of warping, or are you already warped and weaving? (so it is only the weft you need to replace?) I think we are all assuming you are weaving...
To put your mind at ease, I am using a combination of Webs 8/2 cotton-linen and UKI 8/2 unmercerized cotton for a series of dishtowel projects right now, and they work together just fine, both on the loom and after finishing. (I noted about 15% take and shrinkage.)
If I was warping and this happened to me, I would add the replacement stripes in a balanced manner, to the left or right in equal amounts, or add them in the center of the warp where their sequence would normally fall. (Just not all on one side of the warp.)
If this happened when weaving, I agree with the rest of the posts, I wouldn't suddenly change mid-stream. I would unweave the towel in progress, replace that weft with the cotton-linen, and weave the remaining towels with the cotton-linen.
Another possibility, you could divide the remaining cotton material in half (that you removed from the towel in progress), and make one towel a planned/intregrated change in the materials. You could weave one end of the towel in the cotton, the middle with the cotton-linen, and finish the other end to match in the original cotton.
You can also vary your treadling to create a design area using small amounts of the original cotton on the remaining towels. For instance, if the towels are plain weave, you could make a small stripe of white twill at each end of the towel, and use the cotton for that area only. (So you are making it stand out and look intentional by the change in structure.) The towels all have the same stripe repeat, but each one could have a different design in this one little area, using up the last of your white cotton, and making the second batch of towels relate to the ones initially woven with all cotton. If there was any subtle difference in the yarns, this might serve to hide it.
I agree with Laurie, working with limited materials is a GREAT way to stretch your design skills! YES—I think you should be daring and go for it!
Thanks every one for your input. I agree that I shouldn't change the weft mid towel, but I am considering it for the next towel. I have enough warp for 4 towels and am nearly at the end of the 2nd towel. I kept weaving, hoping that the backorder would resolve itself in time, but it doesn't look like it will. I am thinking I will try something asymetrical on this one towel as Laurie said(if it doesn't work well, I can always just keep that one).
Sara - that fabric you described sounds wonderful.
Sally - I think I will try cotolin on the 3rd and 4th towels. As Sally said, the cast in natural is different in the cotton and cotolin, but this is white and I don't see a difference. I was mostly concerned about different shrinkage rates.
If you want to check out the cotton/cotton-linen towel project that just came off the loom-
I see that I was incorrect in stating (above) that my take up and shrinkage for warp and weft was 15% — it was 17%. Consistent in both directions, which was a bit of a surprise. (I measure at each step — take up, then again after washing, and then added the two together.)