As you know, I’ve been messing about with four selvedge warping this year. I was in one of my favorite yarn shops recently and they had a cone of the warp I like in black. Black Friday. Black warp. Why not? I’m not a shopper, so today was mostly a weaving day.
To be honest, it was Robyn Spady’s idea (Robyn is a fiercely talented teacher, weaver, and the editor of Heddlecraft). She was weaving black warps today and challenged other weavers to do the same. I’m not sure she realized a tapestry weaver would jump in, but the timing was great for me.
This is the warp I usually use in white. It is cotton seine twine made by Bockens in Sweden and it comes in many sizes. This particular size, 12/6, comes in a whole bunch of colors also. As a doubled four selvedge warp at 8 epi, it performed very well. And of course in four selvedge warping, there is a tiny bit of the warp that shows right at the bottom and top edges. If the color of that warp matches the edges of the tapestry, it disappears completely.
Which, I must say, is very satisfying.
I’m not much of a shopper. Standing in line to get into Best Buy to purchase something I probably don’t really need just doesn’t sound fun. But I know some people love the thrill of the hunt. So I’ll leave the shopping to them. I used dark colors in gradation because I’m not a total Scrooge and maybe there is some wiggle room there… and the bright shiny parts are the bright shiny things I didn’t buy today. Or maybe they are the fun times I had in my studio instead.
This warp was supposed to be a tapestry cuff for Sarah Swett’s four selvedge bracelet project. But I made it too wide and too short and instead of taking it off and starting over, I decided to weave this.
This will be today’s tapestry diary piece. I think I’ll call it “Black Friday”. Loom is a 16 inch Mirrix warped for four selvedge weaving. The warp is 12/6 cotton seine twine in black, flyline backing for supplemental warp, 8 epi. Weft is three strands of Harrisville Koehler singles, dyed by me.
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Why else might you want to use colored warp?
In traditionally woven tapestry, the warp doesn’t show. And a dark warp is visually harder to weave on.
But if you’re weaving something that will have open warps or fringe, you might want to use a colored warp. This 12/6 cotton seine twine comes in so many colors, you could potentially make a warp that was a rainbow. Though warping a loom that way would be mighty tricky unless you’re using a loom with beams or you make a lot of knots. Maybe I’ll try it sometime.
I don’t know of any other good tapestry warp that comes in colors, but of course you could dye it yourself or make a painted warp. Just remember that you need different dyes for cotton than you do for wool.