Variegated yarn as warp - looking for some devil's advocates

 I usually avoid variegated yards but Just Our Yarn had a beautiful skein of 30/2 tencel that called to me to experiment with it.  Since it met my challenge of weaving at 60 epi with a satin structure and working with tencel I was happy for the new experience.  The nature of designing with variegated yarn seems to have brought in a new challenge for me. I'm already threaded with a straight draw and don't really want to rethread.  I am tired of having this conversation with myself so I thought I would post it!

Below is my photo with 3 color wefts (all 60/2 spun silk), from top to bottom, yellow, red and brown. I've folded it in half to show the two sides. You can see the variegation of the warp at the top and at the bottom.  I truly expected the red and brown to make the colors pop.  Duh, both red and brown just sink into the warp color and don't contrast enough. 

I think I've gotten into the trap of "just because you can - doesn't mean you should".  I was trying to put some curves into the structure but they don't really add to the whole piece.  So I am thinking of doing some straight block lines that fade in and out and let the variegated color step up to the front line as the star of the fabric.  The cloth itself feels great and weaves and washes beautifully.  So....hopefully someone feels up to some suggestions?



Posted on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:10

I use variegated yarn in warp in very simple structures and rather loose weaves. I mix mohair and boucle yarns in related solids into the warp to tone the variegation down a bit.

Weft yarns in a sort of tone in tone make it fun to create several different and attractive pieces on a single warp. 

Posted on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:12

I sort of like the way the colors fade in and out of the brown. At least in the pic it's nice, interesting in a subtle way. But the white (what it looks like to me, but I think you're saying it's yellow?) does show off the colors more, you get that zig-zag.  I'm not sure that's the point though.  To me it's the bottom, brown that makes for the nicest combination.    marie

Posted on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:54

 yeah, it's actually a soft butter yellow.....I think the brown looks subtle too.  That brown is probably what I will go for unless I can find a better value contrast like Laura suggested in post #3.   The yellow pops the design the best but the starkness really bothers me!  Here's a little bit better color photo....thanks to all for keeping me from muttering to myself!


Posted on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:38

Brown. One think I like with variegated warps is how they blur the design and fade in and out and that does it.   Have you seen in the 'Lord of the Rings Cloaks' in  that old Handwoven. The weaver used several shades of green, and a variegated weft, but threaded it in a shadoweave.  The shadoweave sort of fades in and out of the fabric, I really like that effect. It's really nice.

Posted on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 13:12

I worked with veriegated yarn years ago but I used it as warp and weft set it up as a 2/2 twill  scarfs and let it make its own patterns they sold like hot cakes my best seller ever.


Posted on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 23:03

If you like working with veriegated yarn, find some Astro Dye yarn. It is spaced dyed, the veriegation does not repeat. It is a true random veriegated yarn.