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Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 15:17
I'm a new weaver and of course have some wonky edges going on. I would like to get everyones' suggestions on how to have nicer edges on my woven pieces. Here's an example... TIA!
There are a rather large number of things that can affect selvedges.
One of the things that new weavers do is advance the fell line too close to the beater, then weave too close to the reed. Generally looms have a fairly small looking 'sweet' spot which means that new weavers have to get over the reluctance to stop and advance their warp. Most looms only weave efficiently for about 2 to 3 inches half way between the breast beam and the reed.
Advancing and then applying consistent tension is another area that new weavers may have difficulty with. Try to gauge your tension at 1) the lever when you advance the warp - feel the resistance as you set your 'ideal' tension - 2) when you treadle to open the shed - you should feel about the same resistance - 3) when you pull the beater forward - again you should feel about the same resistance.
Another area that new weavers seem to have problems with is leaving the weft slack while beating in. Many will leave a good angle on the weft, then pull the hand with the shuttle in it towards their body, which effectively reduces the slack. Instead of bringing the shuttle hand towards your body, lift it up just enough so that the beater can travel under the shuttle hand.
If you want to see a video of me weaving, go to http://laurasloom.blogspot.com and click on the Video Clip tag on the right hand side of the page.
Wow, the videos are very helpful! Thank you Laura! I think I'm doing exactly what you talked about in the video clip, bringing my shuttle toward my body when I beat. I will definitely be more aware of that now.
One of the things that helped me improve my selvedges was to remember to keep my hands off them. Don't fiddle with them as you weave.
Of course, you have excellent advice from a master with the suggestions from Laura.
Thanks Claudia! It's hard not to mess with the selvedges! I took Laura's advice from her video clip and my second lap cloth has much better edges, not perfect but much improved. :)
I keep thinking of things I learned that helped. The best advice I got, the one thing that has improved my selvedges most, weave, just keep weaving. The more you weave, the more profiicient you become the better your edges will look.
I looked at my first scarf yesterday. OMG!!! What a mess the selvedges were, lumpy and uneven. The bread cloth I gave as a gift last week was just about the best I have ever done. I think, in four short years, I have woven close to 100 items on 3 different looms. Some gifts, some shawls, scarves, and sample, sample, sample, sample.
I'm done. Good luck and don't ever hesitate to ask for help and advice. That' s part of why we created Weavolution.
Claudia, co-founder of Weavolution and novice weaver
Here's a shawl I made last year.
I thought that practice would do a world of good for the edges and everything else! :) Like with spinning, the more you spin the better your yarn is. I'm already totally hooked on this weaving stuff so I know I will continue on. And I'm sure to be back with more newbie questions too. It's nice to have access to so many people that can and will help.
Your shawl is GORGEOUS!!
Thanks, Sherie. I loved this one and hated selling it but it went to a good home. I have made this one several times. I need to create the draft online so I can share it.
Great thread. I think selvedges is a concern to all new weavers. This thread has helped me. I looked at the video clips, and took Claudia's advise and the last session on the loom went very well and the selvedges looked better!! . Thanks again for all the good information.
I agree! Thanks so much for this post. It helped me out so much! Laura, watching your videos was exactly what I needed. My selvedges look much better. Also thanks to Claudia for saying to keep the hands off of them while weaving. Both of these tips have already changed the way I weave almost completely. :)
As a newer weaver I'd like to add that floating selvedges can also be very helpful. A friend who is a very experienced weaver also suggests using monofiliment as a FS, then you can pull it out after finishing.
Getting up to a consistent speed and rythum can also creat more consistency in the cloth I've noticed. My afore mentioned friend suggests weaving music - something with a nice steady beat that works with your project!
I have used the floating selvedges and they do help. Now if you used monofiliment as a FS and then pulled it out, wouldn't you be left with loops??
The mono would give something quite firm to pull against when throwing a pick so unless you were weaving very loosely I wouldn't think so. Liese
OTOH, I find that floating selvedges simply get in the way of weaving quickly. I know that many people say that they don't interfere at all, but since I weave fast, they do slow me down.
Much better IMHO is to develop your rhythm, hold and throw the shuttle 'properly' (underhand as I demo in the video clip) and not rely on a floating selvedge ****unless it is absolutely essential for the weave structure you are weaving****.
In other words, you should have a good reason for using one, not just to make your selvedges 'better'. That can be done by having
a) a well tensioned warp - at least as much tension as will be applied during weaving
b) using good tension during weaving - not too tight, not too loose
c) holding and throwing the shuttle underhand (as in the video)
d) making sure the angle on the weft is good (as explained in the video clip)
e) consistent tension on the weft, and beating consistenly.
f) *not* fiddling with the selvedges, shuttles, loom
Working on these aspects of handweaving will bring about a much better result, both physically (for the weaver's comfort - sitting a a proper bench will help with this as well) and materially (in the quality of the cloth itself.)
Having a quality experience is paramount - weavers should not be using processes that promote artifially slow progress, or promote injury to themselves.......... Again, just my opinion and your mileage may vary.
For more about selvedges, read the artilce on my website Pursuing Perfection. Click on Education, then Articles.