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Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 00:40
I'm curious to know how fine a sett y'all have worked with for your historic projects. I've done a sample for some fabric I'm currently spinning for at 20 EPI but I want to do a second sample at 24 EPI too.
The first thing I do is to look at a sample of the textile I am trying to recreate or, more likely, read an article in an archeological journal. (Remember that most scientists will report the sett in ends per centimeter, not inches).
Then I work backwards from the finished fabric to the sett, taking into account the shrinkage and the draw-in. I can estimate this, but the only way to be certain is to sample, especially since I get more draw-in at the selvedges than at the center of the fabric.
The closest sett that I've used for a reproduction textile is 28 epi. The finished fabric was about 34 epi, or 13 epc.
I've recently been mucking about with 32 to 60 epi in the sett. I'm doing some very fine double-weave tapes, and also just ran samples on hemp-wool combination fabric (linsey-woolsey with hemp for warp.) The hemp is sized in Tex, 16N/2 from hemptraders.com, the weft is a 9/1 wool singles from iloveyarn.com. I used a Peacock with an 8 dent reed for the samples. with 4 threads per dent, and got a lot of reed-tracking, but when I start weaving it for garments, my wider looms all have finer reeds and I'm hoping that will minimize the problem. Washing and drying the samples got rid of a lot of the tracking. I have not yet pressed and recounted the threads for the final epi from the varous finishing techniques, but the fabric lost about 10% in width in the hot wash and dry, so figure 35 epi for result. What I learned from the samples is that with a warp this fine, you really, really need supplemental selvage threads -- I ended up adding a crochet cotton thread to each side tied to the warp beam (not the warp roller) that I retied every time I advanced the warp. It helped keep the edge threads from breaking but also was necessary just to keep the selvage straight at all. I'm also going to move to warp sticks instead of paper, as I had a lot of problem with the tension and I'm hoping the sticks will help. This project really sold me on sampling because I can learn this stuff before I invest the time and materials in the bigger project.
The pattern tapes I'm weaving on a four-harness Mountain Loom. I'm trying to reproduce some of the linen garters in Florence Montgomery's Textiles in America. Because they're double-weave, it's about 60 epi. I'm using 2/40 linen for that. Because the linen I'm using is stronger and more consistent than the hemp I used on the other project, and the loom is better for fine work, I'm not having the edge troubles with it that I had with the hemp, but I think I'd still supplement the selvage next time.
I've also done a 30 epi overshot with natural linen and blue wool. For that one, I found it helped a lot to keep the linen warp dampened while weaving -- it allowed a much tighter beat, which improved the look of the overshot pattern.
Oh my, I take it you are a reenactor? The yarns and the sett and the textiles you make are fascinating. There is an Historical Weaving group, you may know that. So glad you are here, I learned a lot just from your response to the question. Do you have pictures? We will be providing ways to see and post larger pictures soon. I will notify everyone in the home page "News" once it's complete.
Thanks for being here and thanks for all the information. You have obviously studied this topic. Peggy Osterkamp addresses reed marking in her books. You might check her website and see if it's there as well, http://www.weaving.cc/ There is tons of tips and help under "Previous tips"
Claudia, co-founder, Weavolution
Taken in May 2009 in Williamsburg, VA How do you like the hat? (Yup, that's me in the wheelchair. I spraied my ankle the first day of vacation) Great for sunny days.