Two posts ago I mentioned that next on my list was to weave something from shot cotton. Anyone who has read this blog for a length of time probably knows how much I adore shot cottons and sewing/quilting with shot cottons.
For those of you who are unaware, shot cottons are fabric that have been woven with one color warp, and another color weft. The combination of the two colors creates a third color that becomes the cloth. The fabric is beautiful to quilt with as it has a great depth and richness to it, and the color fluctuates depending on how the fabric is positioned, (horizontal or vertical) and how the light hits it. (You can see a some examples of my stitched shot cotton work here, here here and here.)
The thing that made me most want to weave with shot cotton was the fringe. I wanted to make the fringe an integral part of the design.
So I hand-ripped strips of different colored shot cottons, making sure to rip some strips of each color widthwise, selvedge to selvedge, and also lengthwise, as that way I would get a strip of each color featuring both the warp-thread frayed colored edge and the weft-thread frayed colored edge. You can see an example of this in the photo above. The bottom group of strips with the frayed maroon colored edge, is ripped from the same fabric group 3rd up from the bottom, with the frayed bright lime colored edge.
Strips were then machine stitched together to form long lengths, then folded along one side and pressed. I then wove the strips, placing the fringe towards me, and beating each one in place along the folded edge.
In keeping with the rough, (as in raw, natural, imperfect, wabi sabi or some would say, crude) nature of utilizing the fringe as an important design element, I carried that through to other elements, such as letting the colors start and end wherever they happened to be in the weaving,
as well as leaving the frayed ends of one color strip show as a new one began, and not trying to hide where the ends were stitched together.
... Just for the record, I am sure that many an accomplished weaver may cringe at this work, as it has become the custom of many a rag-weaver to fold all raw edges in, keeping strips of fabric as uniform and pristine as possible. Since many of you are new to weaving, you should know this, as I don't want to lead any of you astray down the road of improperness! (Although that is where the fun usually waits for us!) And, just like I respect those who wish to always quilt in absolute perfection of all points matching, (which I like to do as well from time to time) and no rules broken, I also respect such weavers and what they do, as well. However, while I will strive to always produce structurally well made items, as I firmly believe in craftsmanship, make no mistake that I am in love with the beauty of imperfection, and, when appropriate to the design, will try to honor it.
For more info on this colorful shot cotton runner please go here.
(However note that it sold before I had a chance to do this blog post.)
One last thing... Did you happen to take notice of the giant spool that I used for a prop in the first photo of this blog post? It's a beautiful, antique industrial wooden spool filled with vintage twine, thought to be from around the turn of the century. My youngest daughter hit the nail on the head when she gave this to me for Christmas... Love, love, love it!!! As does Ellie, my dog...
(She likes to pretend she is in the circus!)
Have a great week, everyone! xo