What an adventure. To start with you have to understand a little bit about my life. I work graveyard as a 911 dispatcher. I have sleep issues….
I was going to an event where I could display my frilled silk pieces, but I simply did not have time to sleep AND weave the linen veil. I chose sleep. My body chose to weave. So after being up for 29 hours and a brief 3 hours of sleep. I spent the night weaving linen. And I did indeed take it to the event the next day and was able to display it and talk to many people about the way it is created.
It will be helpful to scan through the first blog post on my silk frilled veils, I won’t be repeating much of that info here. I’ll mainly be talking about the challenges and differences between the silk and linen “veils”.
30 EPI, which worked out to about 600 threads
23 heddles, with 46 threads (doubled) in each frill
4 two oz washers for each frill, 1 for approx 10-12 threads each (started out with just 3)
Finished length 3.5 yards, width 18 inches.
Measuring the warp
When you are measuring your warp you need to account for the fact that the frills are going to take up more warp length. In this case I measured an extra yard and a half, but due to a problem I’ll discuss later this ended up not being long enough, I should have went for 2 yards longer. So my 46 frill threads were longer than the rest of the warp which measured at 4 yards. I was hoping for a 3 yard weave.
Threading the reed
I have a 15 dent reed, so It was a simple 2 threads per dent for 30 ends per inch. Except the frills which were doubled in each heddle and reed, therefore in those sections each dent got 4 threads.
Warping the heddles
A simple tabby means a simple, easy to keep track of 1234, 1234,1234……pattern.
This is where it gets complicated. Linen has not give, no stretch, and has to be perfectly tensioned as it is wound onto the beam. I had to have help, or I would have pulled my hair out, there would have been tears and gnashing of teeth. My good friend Khalja jumped up and down and offered to come help with absolutely no prompting and saved the day and my sanity. We had a beamed and ready to tie onto the front apron in a mere hour or so.
Tied on in very small sections of 20 threads and was ready to work on the frilled edges.
I hadn’t pulled them to the back with the rest of the warp since it is weighted separately. I pulled them through to the back, tied them off on the apron and hung 2 oz washers off of the frill warp threads about 10-12 at a time. I started with 3, and moved to 4 washers per edge when I decided it needed just a little more weight.
Started weaving and right off the bat it was coming out just right. This is right before I placed the first pin, pulling the frill down level with the rest of the weave.
And here is the second or third time it was pinned.
I ran into an unexpected problem a few different times. One side at a time would thicken and bunch at the very outside of the frill. One time it was because I got the edge wet when I was wetting the rest of the warp. But sometimes for no reason at all. And I was doing the exact same thing with both sides. I tried adding weight, I tried being very careful with manipulating my weft at the turn. There sometimes seemed to be no rhyme or reason for it. The pics below show the left and right frills at the same time and you can clearly see the left is bunching while the right is nearly perfect.
It seemed random and worked itself out eventually. But…that meant that it used up way too much of my warp on that edge. Which meant I ran out of warp about 18 inches before I expected to. I’ll leave even more warp on the edges in the future. I’d rather waste a little warp for the frills rather than a lot of the rest of the warp.
I finished with a cold wash with synthrapol detergent for natural fibers found at Dharma Trading Co. And just 15 minutes in the dryer to mangle it some. It then hung to dry the rest of the way. I hand hemmed it while sitting at the event before displaying it at an SCA event that day. I dressed the mannequin head with one of the silk barbettes that I had completed during the earlier project. The veil was about 3.5 yards, and I had planned for it to be folded to 4 layers, but when I had to shorten it I switched to 3 layers.
Then I did what I swore I would never do! I WORE A VEIL!! I felt like I had to try it at least once. And this my little Viking brain didn’t even break. It was a fun and interesting thing to do for a short amount of time. I noticed it was hard to hear with the barbette over my ears, and the silk was HOT, as some others had told me it would be.
Next on the list is a linen barbette, and another lighter linen veil with singles instead of plyed thread. And debating making some avail for sale…hmmmm