Have you tried weaving with fabric before? I have been wanting to for a while now, it adds a nice texture to weaves that is very different. I tried a few different techniques when weaving with my piece of fabric and I have a lot more to explore, but for today I’m sharing 3 techniques that I tried.
But, before I get to the techniques, I wanted to talk a little about the fabric. I have a few fabric remnants I have collected. I found mine at a local fabric store and I love them because they are just a bit of fabric that is discounted since a lot of people are looking for a specific amount of fabric to sew with. Since I’m weaving with it, I don’t mind that it’s smaller. And when I say smaller, it’s really not that small. Fabric remnants are a great way to use up the “waste” materials. You can also use old clothes or other fabrics that you have. It’s a great recycle/reuse opportunity.
To start I cut out a 1.5 inch strip from my fabric. I didn’t measure perfectly either, I just tried to keep it to 1.5 inches as best as I could. To start the fabric in my weave, I followed the same steps as when I weave with yarn. I left an end tail of 2 or 3 inches behind my warp threads and then wove as I normally would. Once I got to 2 or 3 inches left of the fabric strip, I put it behind my warp threads as another end tail that I would weave into the back later.
Here are some of the techniques I tried with the fabric strip:
When weaving with yarn, I use a guide (aka knitting needle, or other stick type object) to make the loops (my tutorial on pile weaving is here). I found when weaving with fabric I didn’t need a guide stick, because it catches on my warp threads more then yarn, so I just let it rest in a loop between the warp threads. I wove my fabric over 2 and under 2 warp threads because this strip is thicker and I wanted to give it space across the warps. As I pulled the strip between the warps, I let it turn and twist as it may. The effect was a really raw texture with frayed edges that I liked. If you wanted a cleaner look, you could weave your fabric strip more carefully through the warps making sure that the edges curved back (to hide the fray) and only the front side of the fabric showed.
Flat Fabric Weave and Pinched Fabric Weave
This time I pulled the fabric over and under the warps making sure that it laid flat. You could keep the fabric flat across for a bold look like I have in the first picture. Just pull it down to the weft threads you had already woven.
I liked the flat fabric “block”, but also wanted to try pushing it down the warp threads, which made another interesting texture. This is flatter then the pile weave I tried and as you can see, all the fabric is front facing, so it’s not as raw. If you continue with the next row, it makes a nice texture pattern.
Twisting your Fabric
This approach makes the fabric more like yarn. I simply twisted the fabric strip between my hands and then started working it into my weave. I did have to keep tightening the twist as I wove it, but that wasn’t hard. You could also twist it up with a drop spindle or a spinning wheel, which might help hold the twist more. With the fabric twisted I wove it over 1 and under 1 warp thread since the strip was much thinner. The twisted strip made for a really interesting texture also.
I’m not sure which technique I like the most since they each bring a different feel to the weave, but I’m excited to try some more. Do you have a favorite texture out of the three I tried? Have you ever woven with fabric before, and if so what did you think of it?
Oh and before I’m done, I am so happy with all the positive feedback from the Tuesday post on starting a weaving routine. I’m really excited to see your different samplers and what you thought of the techniques you tried, so don’t forget to email me with updates!
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