Warp Face, Weft Face, and In Between

Cloud Tiles
The “tiles” in this piece are all woven with a very fine blue silk warp. The wefts were often a greenish color and sometimes the same as the warp. I could decide what color I wanted on the surface or near the surface by what I call “shading”. You can decide if the warp or the weft dominates but doesn’t completely cover the other. In other words, you can have warp face, weft face, or either or neither one dominate. So many choices. I’ve played with the idea several times and I love the idea.

The first twill I learned to weave was a balanced twill on 4 shafts—with 2 warps up and 2, down so both showed equally. This is called a 2/2 twill.

The next twill in the sampler probably was a weft-faced twill—with only 1 warp lifted. That meant that 3 shafts were down so the weft covered them and became weft-face. Hence 1 warp up and 3 down. We call this a 1/3 twill.

You guessed that the 3rd twill must have been a warp faced-twill—3/1 twill. Can you see that the fraction shows how many warps are up and how many down? What if you had more than 4 shafts, say 8*? Can you see you could weave 1/8, 2/8, 3/8,/4/4, 5/3, 6/2 and 7/1 twills? In that case the warps or the wefts would dominate depending upon how many warps or wefts were on top of the cloth.

Cloud Tiles above I shaded 2 of the tiles: tiles 4 and 5, starting on the left. #4 is a satin weave. The gradations in the satin are: 7/1, 6/2, 5/3, 4/4, 3/5, 2/6, 1/7.

The gradations for the twill tile were the opposite starting with 1/7 and ending with 7/1. Some of the tiles I played with the directions of the twills to create some shading effects.

Red Square
In this piece you can see that I brought up to the surface in stages the ground twill weave to shade the red square made with a supplementary warp.

I covered the supplementary warp triangles with a weft dominant twill to make it look like reflections. I should have made all of the “water” the twill instead of beginning to weave with plain weave. These are things you moan about but must live with.

This is the front loom waste for the Cloud Tiles warp. I decided to frame this for posterity, I guess. But you can have an idea of how fine the gradations could be. I probably used 8 shafts for the tiles and 2 shafts for separate selvedges. The selvedges never came out good for various reasons so that’s why I turned them under. I saw some tiles in a museum which gave me the idea.