Last night was a bit of a revelation for me. I was surfing the Weavolution forums and popped into a thread about selvedges. Laura Fry mentioned that she had video clips of her weaving on her blog. I thought, “I don’t really see how that would help, but I’ll look at it anyway.” …I…was wrong. The clips were about 30 seconds long and within minutes of watching those, I completely changed the way I weave. Another helpful tip from one of the founders of Weavolution was “Keep your hands off your selvedges while weaving.”
That’s basically the complete opposite of how I was taught by my instructor. She said to place the weft in the selvedge where you want it. This makes for messing with the selvedges every time you throw a weft shot and also slows you down GREATLY!! The other amazing thing about Laura’s video was how fast she weaves. Again, the opposite of what I was taught. I have a tendency towards doing things as fast as I possibly can. When I played clarinet I would play the music as fast as I possibly could no matter what the time signature was. My thought was, “if I can play this fast, I can play it slow.” But when I would get a good rhythm going and start to pick up speed when weaving at school, I would constantly be told to slow down.
Now at the beginning it’s not a bad thing to go slow to make sure you’re pressing the right treadles etc. but for me, it’s much easier to stay CONSISTENT when I weave quickly. And I think pretty much all instructors agree that consistent is what you’re going for.
I’ve still had continuous problems with the selvedges on the scarf I’m currently weaving. But it’s not the draw in. That is within the acceptable range. It might be 11% rather than 10% but it’s not enough to cause the continued breakage. I think the problem now is that because the selvedge keeps breaking, the tension is getting all wonky. So what I’ve decided for this piece is to just finish it. I’m not going to stop and fix the selvedges. I’ll finish weaving and then cut it off the way it is. Another lesson learned.
Tencel should not be set below 20 epi. (Or in a reed that catches)