I've been doing a lot of weaving lately. Which is wonderful. People have been ordering towels, which I love making. I approach the design and weaving of them in the sense of a jazz improvisation...variation on a theme if you will.
First off, when winding the warp (theme) I like to use a deck of cards to determine how many ends to wind for that particular color. Sometimes, like the towels featured in this post, I'll assign a "number" to the color and when I draw a card, I'll wind that many ends. This allows for some control and balance (the key of the tune, if you will) but still provides for some random and methods of interpretation as well.
You can see in the photo that each towel is a different color. The colors are picked from those in the warp. Variation on theme #1. What I love about this variation is that it allows for completely different looks. The warp and weft threads "interact" with each other and make for really pretty stripes or plaid looks...
The second variation that I like to do is to weave a different pattern for each towel. Right now I'm studying different weave structures as I create. These are all different variations on either undulating twill or "cords"...
I especially loved this towel:
The way the warp and weft threads interact it looks like I wove a cross hatch but instead I just wove a cord weave. It's cool and has some nice texture.
In the process of the variations on the main theme, I'm learning about fabric structure and what makes good towels. One of the towels (the 2nd from the top in the first picture) is super squishy and drapy. It's absolutely lovely and I think will make a wonderfully absorbent towel, but I'm curious to how long it will last. In scarf or wrap form it would be divine...something I'll need to remember for the future!
Have a wonderfully jazzy and improvisational day today! Add a little wonder and variation on themes to your day and see how it makes you feel!