Friday, July 12, 2013


Last Tuesday, there were not very many weavers at the center, which meant that there were fewer conversations going on in the room.  Which meant that it was pretty easy to follow everything that was said in almost every conversation!

The topic turned, as it often does, to selvedges.  How to get straight ones, how do you do yours, do you use a temple?  All the normal questions were batted around the room.  I had just run across a new to me, way to address them,  on Ravelry, (not just a knit/crochet community anymore!) and I hadn't had a chance really to try out this method, but I mentioned it.  Suddenly, everyone was all ears!  What was this method and how does it work?  Since I had not tried it and really wasn't sure, I told them that I would give a complete report next week.

I was able to track down that thread on Ravelry, on the Warped Weavers forum quite easily.  Turns out it is from the Dixon pattern directory, which I do not at present own.  Luckily someone had taken the time to actually draw out what Dixon's instructions were suggesting, which really helped me a lot to visualize it.

So, here is my best shot at explaining it.  This selvedge reinforcing method involves the 3 outer most dents of your project, and the last 12 threads from each side.   I am going to use in this example as a base, my 12/3 cotton towel warp, at 20 epi, in a 10 dent reed, 2 per dent.  Also, I am assuming that the ends are threaded in the 1234 twill.  (Pictured above, before the revision.)

 Each of the three outer dents is going to end up with 4 ends in it.   The outer most dent will have 4 ends threaded normally 1234.  The next dent in is going to have 4 ends as well, but these will be threaded 2 to a heddle,  2 ends in heddle 3, and 2 ends in heddle 4.

8 ends thru 4 heddles

The next dent in will have 4 ends as well, 2 to a heddle once again, but this time 2 ends for heddle 1 and 2 ends for heddle 2.  I have kept the same threading order as normal, nothing changes there, you just double up those 8 threads in the harnesses and the reed, and you double the outer most 4 threads only in the reed.   Repeat on the opposite side, following the normal  threading order, doubling up the outer most 4 in the reed, and doubling the next 8 ends in the heddles and in the reed.  In the picture below the three outermost dents, each have 4 threads in them. 

 I tied on as usual, and started weaving.  I have to say that I like how the selvedges are looking, straight and almost crisp.  These pictures are of 2 different towels, the before towel has already been washed, and the after towel is what is on the loom right now.



In the whole process I lost 6 dents, 3 dents on each side, just over 1/2 inch.  You can also see that the margin is narrower.  If I had been planning a new project, I could of course add some extra ends to compensate, but on this project, I was using an existing project, so I did not have the chance to do that.  I could also adjust a few threads of my pattern threading to plain weave to widen the margin.

Either way would work, I think I will try this threading on my 8/2 cotton bread cloths as well.  I don't know about the  baby blankets that I do in 8/4 cotton warp, I don't want to loose any width at all there!  The rugs and placemats will probably not be seeing this treatment either, just the fine threads.

I hope that I have not made it any more confusing that it needs to be, let me know!

Until next time, Happy Weaving and Spinning, Tina


Maggie said...

neat! I'm going to try that!

Bonnie said...

It does make a very nice finished edge. It does need to be done in the beginning phase of planning of the project so not to make it too narrow.

Fran said...

Hi there; I just finished using that selvedge threading on an 8/2 cotton scarf; The edge is lovely and straight, but the threads got progressively tighter on the long warp. Nowhere did I see the mention to weight them separately off beam, but I think it is worth a thought!

Thanks for the info about the cellulose dye.


Tina J said...

Fran, I haven't heard that,, thanks for the suggestion, I will watch for it.

LA said...

I'm going to graph that out....anything that helps with selvedges is a good tool for the toolbox!

Theresa said...

When I did some blankets I beefed up the edges and started doing it with other weaving, this gives a nice formula. Thank you!