Shelter-in-place

Well. Some time has passed since that last post — for the most part I’ve been tied up with a lot of writing (mainly for research funding proposals and grant management) and finishing up my winter quarter teaching. Of course we’ve now been hit (along with the rest of the world) by COVID-19, and here in the SF Bay Area we are under a “shelter in place” order for at least the next few weeks, and possibly a lot longer. My calendar has suddenly been wiped clean of travel and events for the next few months, which is sad but at the same time something of a relief. We are faced with the challenge of conducting all spring quarter teaching online…

I’m finally finding time to get back to the weaving component of Intermateriality:Redox, and I’ve gathered together what I need for my indigo vat as well. As mentioned at the end of my last post I experimented with changing the warp tension and weft slack to stretch out the pick density, and have settled on some adjustments that get me back to around 18-19 picks per inch. If I can manage to weave two pattern repeats per day I should be able to make a couple of yards of cloth per week, which should see me cutting off the loom in the next week or two (not sure how much of the warp is left after the change of tie-up). I should get the indigo vat started in the meantime to give it some time to settle.

The image below shows the transition (left-to-right) from the original pattern I was weaving, to the new pattern with too high a pick density, to then the adjusted rhythm I’m going to stick with. It’s amazing how much the change of tie-up required such a drastic change in warp tension and weft slack. That’s all dictated by the change in the frequency with which each weft pick needs to transition from the upper-to-lower face of the cloth (and vice versa), as each such transition adds a warp yarn’s width-worth of length to the required weft slack. You can see clearly in the image below how the original pattern has dense transitions, while the new pattern has lots of long weft floats (where the weft stays above or below for several warp ends in a row). The new pattern shows a lot more warp; I’m excited to see how differently the two regions of the cloth look in indigo…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s