On February 15 through 17, 2020 at the Mesa Historical Museum in Mesa, Arizona, Denise Kovnat visited members of the Telarana Guild to hold a workshop on Designing Deflected Double Weave.
This particular structure is one that is near and dear to my heart – it all started with research on Katniss’ District Twelve Scarf from The Hunger Games movies. I have found, through research, all sorts of shapes and sizes and names for this structure all across the board and across the ages (literally, Mary Meigs Atwater has a version in her recipe books). But it is really gratifying to see teachers and artists like Denise take this structure and push it to the max. I wish you could see up close some of the amazing results Denise has achieved in her weavings – you can see some of them in the following pictures:
We each had a choice of 4 or 8 shaft drafts, as well as several structure styles. Lucky enough to rent a table loom for the event, I chose the 8 shaft “quilt squares” drawdown for my experimentation. I found it amazing that Denise specifically created non-wool sample versions just for our workshop after she found out that we mostly work with hot weather materials such as cotton, bamboo, linen, etc.
The days were a nice mix of weaving, group instruction and personal instruction. We were all able to sample specific treadlings, then cut loose on our own with experimentation. Some of us were able to finish the basic samples, cut them off and wet finish to see the effects of shrinkage with the variety of threads used. Here is my cut-off, both before and after a rigorous hot bath and dry:
Overall I was pleased with this particular mix, mostly because it yielded a VERY soft cloth and a pleasant drape, even though the warp was a bit on the sticky side – I was clearing my shed with almost every pick.
One of the special challenges of DDW is handling the selvedges – I found that tracking which side of the fabric was up and where the shuttle needed to be for its next pick was easiest for maintaining nice edges:
Armed and dangerous, I mixed a few of the treadle patterns and used the organic cotton as the main weft, alternating a merino wool and mercerized cotton – both about the same weight but sure to experience a differential in shrinkage after finishing. Here it is both on the loom and off the loom:
And, after finishing!!!!!!
When I took the scarf off the loom, it measured 12 1/4″ wide, and 65″ long, without the fringe. After washing by hand in hot water and throwing it in the dryer (plus some stretching to get it to the shape I wanted), it measured 9″ wide and 59″ long without the fringe. So the weft merino did drive a lot more shrinkage, which produced the desired effect. This could have been more pronounced without manipulation – I don’t care for skinny scarves so I was able to manage it within my expectations.
I hope you get a chance to experiment with this amazing structure!