Friday, 22 July 2011

some samples finished off, and a curious case of variable shrinkage

so I made a warp up of 1/15 worsted. And I did it in plain weave and 4-shaft honeycomb in both 24 and 32epi. The plain weave was better in 24 (more balanced and less sticking, which reminds me I really should learn to make and apply warp sizing to stop that from happening, it makes weaving plain weave in wool a real pain in the backside) but the honeycomb was better in 32, cos it's more weft-faced, innit

anyway, here's a pic of the 2. Both quite nice, I'll have to give it a go in the cashmere next week sometime, see how that goes.

And this ugly duckling on the right is the cashmere, after going through the wash (big mistake). See, I've been hoping to be able to weave multiple scarves in a single width, but due to a lack of proper finishing equipment, this is proving somewhat unlikely. Also, for some reason, the blue weft yarn in this scarf is shrinking and felting more (much more) than the white. Which doesn't make a lot of sense because they're from the same mill and brand. I can only assume that the blue yarn is subjected to a greater degree of wet finishing than the white, but it doesn't seem right to me. I'll have to go back and check the labels. I guess it could be that at some point someone's wound a yarn onto a cone that isn't what it says it is. Now, I can tell that it's cashmere, and it appears identical in count and quality to the white stuff, but that's no saying anything.

You can't tell yourself from the photo, but in the bordering regions between the body of the scarf and the false selvedge, the weft yarns have felted up. Now, you can still extract some of the white yarns, but the blue yarns are felted completely. Also, the blue weft sections are a great deal (well, a little bit) thicker than the white sections, and more inflexible.

It's a curious thing. I have a great deal to learn about cloth finishing evidently before I can hope to weave multiple scarves in a width and finish them properly without resorting to using overlocking or rolled hems or any of that unpleasantness which seriously detracts from the drape and softness of the item, in my opinion.

One of these days I guess I'll have to build a fulling machine, when I also own the old millhouse and pigs fly to spain on a daily basis



Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

I have lots of old woollen yarn (from Galashiels, no less!) that behaves like that: darker shades shrink more than lighter, and quite a bit, too.
Of course I don't *know* why, but my guess is that the lighter shades are made from bleached wool, and that bleached wool will shrink less, later.
Isn't it fun, all unpredictabilities...?

Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

Now I have posted a picture on my blog with one of my experiences...

Holly said...

Sometimes wool companies will use a lightening agent (bleach maybe) on the yarn before the dye it with the lighter colors. If they use a lightening agent, then the yarn doesn't felt well and sometimes not at all. The white yarn you used could have been lightened and that is why it and the blue yarns shrank at different rates.

humblebumble said...

hi holly, that's what I was thinking, I looked up my notes and they informed me that they do bleach yarns prior to dyeing if it's to be white or a pale colour. Which would explain things.

This could be gotten around by bleaching all yarn prior to dying, but then that'd end up using up more water and causing more pollution, and the last thing the textile industry needs is to use more water and produce more pollution