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Blue Cord-Striped Bag

KarenIsenhower's picture
Before wet-finishing, fabric face
Before wet-finishing, fabric back
Prepared handwoven fabric for bag, lining, and pocket
Creating the handle hole
Inside of bag, showing pocket
Detail of fabric
Project
Project Status: 
Finished
Project Date: 
Fri, 12/28/2012 - Sat, 01/19/2013
Yarn
Yarn: Tuna
Color: Blue
Type: warp
Yarn: Tuna
Color: Blue
Type: weft
Loom
Loom Used: 
Glimåkra Standard
Number of Shafts: 
4
Number of Treadles: 
8
Sett: 
20.00 EPI
Length on Loom: 
3.00 yd
Width on Loom: 
20.25 in
Finished Width: 
18.00 in
Notes: 

This is the weft cord project in Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell, p.94. I used 2 shades of blue in the warp, giving it a mottled appearance. For the weft cord, the are 4-5 ends of low-twist bulky yarn (Halcyon Bartlett Bulky Yarn), that are placed in the shed, and woven in as a bundle. It was a fascinating weave structure which creates floats on that back side that hold the bulky ends. I included front and back pictures of the pre-washed fabric to try to show the structure.

The project in the book suggests making the fabric into a bag, though no sewing instructions are included. I let the fabric lay for a couple weeks while I thought through the construction plans for the bag. After making a small mock up out of some cotton fabric, and writing down all the steps, I felt confident enough to tackle the real thing. For the lining, I used the sample piece from my very first floor loom project a year ago; it happened to be a perfect fit! For the pocket (every handmade bag must have a least one pocket), I had a sample piece from a tencel scarf warp that was also the perfect size, and adds just a little touch of glamour inside the bag. I made a tutorial with pics of the bag construction for myself so I can reproduce the bag if I want to sometime.

There's enough weft-cord fabric left to make another bag, but that will wait until more design inspiration comes to me (I don't really want to make 2 of the same thing.)

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ReedGuy's picture
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Joined: 01/13/2012
Hey, red rocker

I have a rocker just like yours.

The bag looks great.

I wonder how a tube would work out and sew in a bottom, and a pull cord synch in the top? There is one in Ed Worst's old book. :)

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endorph's picture
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Joined: 09/12/2011
Very cool

Karen - I love the fabric and the finished product!

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Karren K. Brito's picture
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Joined: 11/13/2009
Great bag!

I love the bit of texture.  Did you gather the ground cloth ever so slightly or did the texture happen when you washed it?

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KarenIsenhower's picture
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Joined: 08/18/2011
Bag fabric

ReedGuy - I like the drawstring tube idea. I'll consider giving that a try! Thanks!

Tina - Your encouragement is so nice to hear. Thank you!

Karren - I'm honored by your kind comments. Thank you! I could see ripples forming on the loom, but when I fulled the fabric by washing it in the washing machine, it really puckered up (as intended). Voila! Wool seersucker. :)

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Joanne Hall's picture
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Joined: 06/11/2009
Hi Karin

Your bag looks great.  And you even had perfect sample fabrics for making the lining.  Great job.

Joanne

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KarenIsenhower's picture
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Joined: 08/18/2011
Samples

Thank you so much for the compliment, Joanne. I love finding practical uses for sample pieces.

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Jen Brown's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2010
Beautiful Bag!

Karen,

Very nicely done.   I like your version even better than the one in the book.

I'm curious on how you did the wet finishing of the fabric.  You said you fulled it in the washing machine.  Did you need to secure the ends of the large weft bundles before doing that? From your before and after photos is doesn't look like it.  I would have been afraid they would pull out during fulling.

Jen

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ReedGuy's picture
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Joined: 01/13/2012
Awesome weave

I think it (cord)  is a cool weave structure. Has anyone done home made blinds or curtains with cord weave. I was thinking as a pseudo-blind (really a curtain), it would be weighted with a piece of hardwood sewn at the bottom use something like button holes out on the ends for a pull rope system. Just one of my thoughts. :) The cord weave would be tighter , so the V is narrow between the rolls.

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Cathie Beckman's picture
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Joined: 08/05/2010
Karen, I love the texture and

Karen, I love the texture and color of this bag! You've done a great job!

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KarenIsenhower's picture
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Joined: 08/18/2011
Fulling process

Jen, I'm truly honored by your compliment! Thank you.

I didn't know, either, what would happen to the thick weft strips in the washing machine. I thought they might shrink in width and leave the edges flimsy. I didn't think they would come out because all the yarn was wool and it tends to grip and catch on itself. I didn't do anything to secure the wefts, but I did zigzag the warp edges, of course. Fortunately, I had a sizable sample to put through the fulling process first. When I saw that it worked, I felt comfortable doing the "real thing."

Fulling process: I put it in my top-loading washing machine in warm water on the regular cycle, with more water than I would use for a normal wash, adding a small amount of Eucalan. After 3 minutes of agitation, I checked it, and then checked again every minute or two until I thought it looked "finished," which was about 8 minutes total. I think I could have gone longer, but I'm always afraid of going past good fulling into felting (which I did once, and there's no undoing). I then let it spin just long enough to spin most of the water out. After taking it out, I rolled it in a towel to remove more moisture, and then laid it flat to dry.

I hope that explains it for you.

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KarenIsenhower's picture
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Joined: 08/18/2011
Fabric texture

I agree, this is a very interesting texture.

Cathie, thank you so much for your kind encouragement! It means a lot to me.

ReedGuy, sounds like some great ideas. I think this type of fabric might work for window coverings, except this 6/2 wool seems a little heavy for that. Some of what makes this structure work is the differential shrinkage of the main wool yarn and the weft filler yarn. I'm not sure how it would work with other yarns, but might be worth experimenting!

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ReedGuy's picture
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Joined: 01/13/2012
There is different methods

There is different methods described in "Warp and Weft". Some use filler warp and some do not, the interlacement changes in the valleys.

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Jen Brown's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2010
Karen, Thank you for taking

Karen, Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.  I really appreciate your details on how you finished the project.

Jen

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