Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Huck Wrap

My fabric came off the loom yesterday, and man, was I excited to unroll it from the cloth beam of the loom. While it's all wound around and around, you can't really tell what you have, but once I cut the threads and unfurled it, I finally saw that I'd made fabric -- not just a little scarf or a sampler, but real fabric. So cool. It was about 21 inches wide and a couple of yards long. The final product was a slightly loosely woven fabric, quite stiff from being under tension on the loom. This photo shows what the fabric looked like, straight off the loom.

Being done the weaving doesn't make it done, though -- first I had to finish the loose warp ends, which I did by making a twisted fringe. Then I had to wash and dry it. Initially I thought I would hand wash it and hang it to dry. As I hung it, though, I thought about how cottons that have been tumble dried in a dryer are so much softer than ones that have been hung... So I threw it in the dryer, instead. Admittedly I was a little apprehensive about whether the whole thing would somehow fall apart in there, but I guess I wanted to prove to myself that my weaving is not a delicate fragile thing, but rather hardy like myself. I had it on low heat for a while, but I got impatient and turned the heat up at the end.

It shrunk a bit, between the wash and dry -- it lost about 5 percent of the length and near 10 percent of the width, so now I know to add that much to make up for shrinkage, in the future. The weave of the fabric isn't as loose after finishing, either -- the strands of yarn are all fattened and much softer, snugged up next to each other, rather than spaced apart. (Can you see the difference in the 'after' photo?) I suppose that will account for some of the shrinkage. It also makes the fabric a bit warmer; I wore it out yesterday, for the cloudy breezy weather, and it kept me surprisingly warm and comfortable.

The only downside to this wrap? It only used about half of the blue & red cotton yarn I have. Don't worry -- I have a really sweet idea for the rest.

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