Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Fulling hand woven fabric--What a Difference!
This is actually an older project, but I was talking about it briefly on Ravelry today. (I'm there as 'TangibleDaydreams'.) This was one of the first projects I wove with my hand spun yarn. The yarn is singles, from a merino wool and tencel blend roving that I picked up at the Griffin Dyeworks fiber retreat some years back. The colors were inspired by a summer family trip to the beach and ocean in Mexico. The pattern is an undulating twill design that I drafted in a workshop given by Sharon Alderman.
The interesting thing about this project to me is that I decided to see just what seriously fulling the woven fabric would do to it. So after I got it off the loom, wove in the tails, and twisted the fringe, I tossed it in the washing machine on hot and let the machine do its worst.
This is how it turned out. The fabric shrunk by at least half, and thickened up considerably. Where it had a lovely drape right off the loom (I was thinking shawl with it), it stiffened up after fulling. The pattern was partially obscured, but still showed through and gave a little bit of texture. The colors melded together.
Well, it wasn't going to be a shawl any more. But, it wasn't ruined. Instead, it turned into a seriously kick ass table runner, which I love love love. It is just the size of my dresser, so I have had it displayed there for several years now. The fabric wears like iron, and I suspect it will still be in good shape several generations from now.
(The spinning wheel in the picture is a great wheel from the 1800's that I have pressed back into service. The basket on the right comes from Prague, and has carded fleece in it that I'm gradually spinning for another project. The candle holders and the eagle sculpture were done by my father. And two of the stacked boxes on the left are hand made as well--one by a friend, and one by my grandfather.)