In this exercise we are asked to work freely and try out different materials in a new woven sample. I chose to use a range of fibres and other materials from my “yellow” colour box. This includes natural colours as well as brights.
I warped up with the same dish cloth cotton as before and wove a few rows in some tapestry wool. To start I experimented with soumak using some chunky hemp string then went on to use some plastic gift wrap string – the type that you can unwind to make big bows. I flattened it out a bit before weaving and it looked good on the loom but after it was released from the tension of the loom the plastic looks like it is trying to curl up again, an interesting effect in itself.
I then went back to some more soumak using some yellow sisal string which is stiff so loops quite loosely around the warp threads. I should try again with something even more stiff to see the effect that gives. Then I tried again with the thick hemp string to experiment with a darker and lighter background. The chunky string obsures the plain rows a lot but the different coloured backgrounds give a subtle effect. More experimentation needed again here.
Here I have tried some more curved shapes using a variety of materials including sari silk waste yarn on the bottom left, orange plastic fruit nets making the thick orange lines, yellow fruit nets making the yellow area to the right, gold chenille yarn on the left and some strips of plastic carrier bag, kept flat whilst weaving, making the light area at the top of the image.
Here I just had a bit of fun with strips of Tunnocks Caramel wafer biscuit wrapper which I had heated previously with an iron giving the bobbly texture. It works well for a novelty image but the plastic is quite fragile in the narrower strips. Also, because of the nature of the image you have to leave the ends free at the selvedge so I had to use some sticky tape across the back to stop them falling off the edge of the warp. If you wanted to see more of the original image you could use a Nylon thread for a warp instead.
For these rows I have combined materials within the picks, using strips of knit fabrics along with woollen yarns. Plain yellow shetland wool sweater with some brown chunky wool that has coloured slubs to the bottom of the image. Then some 1960s Nylon jersey in a gold and tan print is combined with some red/brown wool. Finally I cut inch wide strips of a black and gold lame jersey fabric and stretched them out a bit. The strips start to curl when stretched and I layed some pure undyed wool pencil rovings inside the curl and wove these. The effect is interesting but I didn’t have enough space to weave many rows.
Here I have used Ghiordes knots to weave some strips of yellow jersey lycra fabric which gives a good shaggy effect and between the knotted rows I wove a couple of plain rows using strips of cream coloured tights. Finally I combined a variety of cream and yellow woollen threads for a couple more rows of Ghiordes knots and finished with some plain weave rows of cream silk threads.
In between experimenting with different effects I have woven some plain rows using natural raffia and hessian threads which seem to work well. I also like the effect made on the back of the work by the soumak, it is like short vertical lines and might come in useful later.