Fringe Treatments for Weaving
Like every new weaver, I have a ton of questions about various aspects of weaving. At the top of the list: fringe treatments. I’ve seen many beautiful fringe finishes in weaving projects, but haven’t known how to achieve them—until now.
In Handwoven Home, Liz Gipson talks about selecting the right yarns for weaving when you plan to finish a project with fringe. She shares a few beautiful fringe treatments as well, with great step-by-step illustrations.
Let’s take a peek inside the pages of Handwoven Home for Liz’s tips and techniques.
Editorial Director, Books
FRINGE TREATMENT CONSIDERATIONS
A major consideration when selecting yarns for weaving is how they will act in the fringe. Singles yarns puff out in the wash, making little tufts. Plied yarns and some fancy novelties can fray. These can be negatives or positives depending on the look you are going for.
To get an idea of how the yarn will act in the fringe, cut a few pieces about 12″ (30 cm) long and hand wash them vigorously in hot water with a little soap. Pay attention to how the ends behave—this will show you what will happen in the fringe.
Regardless of your tests, remember: All yarn will fray eventually. If you like the look of straight fringe, handwashing is recommended. You can trim away ends that stray over time, and the fringe still shows off the yarn’s beauty.
If your yarn has the potential to fray at the ends, finish them off with twisted or braided fringes and trim them close to the knots. You can trim away ends that stray over time, and the fringe still shows off the yarn’s beauty.
Learning which yarn works best for what type of project comes with experience. The good news is that there is a wealth of projects in this book where I have done all that choosing for you, allowing you to gain experience as you make beautiful fabrics for your home.
3 OFF-LOOM FRINGE TREATMENTS
1. If you plan to work your fringe off the loom, weave headers on both ends with scrap yarn to keep the weft in place until you are ready to work your fringe treatment.
2. Remove the work from the loom and place it on a flat surface. You may need to place a weight on the cloth to keep it from moving about and to give you tension to work against.
3. Using embroidery scissors, carefully cut the header in half. If your warp is relatively narrow, remove half of the scrap yarn. If it is wider, you may want to cut the header out in shorter chunks.
4. Work the finishing, whatever it may be, in that section. Cut away the second half of the header, working that section. Repeat this process until you have completed tying your fringe.
5. If you are working 2 rows of knots, work the first one all the way across the warp, then go back and work the second row.
How to: Overhand Knot
1. Working from the outside in, tie overhand knots loosely by forming a loop with the fringe and then slipping the tail through the center of that loop (Figures 1 and 2).
2. Snug the knot loosely up against the base of the cloth.
3. After you have tied all the knots, go back and tighten them, adjusting as necessary so they line up neatly.
How to: Staggered Knots
1. Working from the outside in, tie overhand knots loosely, snugging them up to the edge of the weaving.
2. After you have tied all of the knots, go back and tighten them, adjusting as necessary so they line up neatly.
3. Work another row of overhand knots, offset from the first, by taking half of 1 knotted group and tying it to half of its neighbor (Figure 3).
How to: 4-Stranded Flat Braid
NOTE: Work this braid over 4 ends.
1. Divide a group of 4 ends in half (Figure 4). Bring the outside left end over the inside left strand.
2. Bring the outside right end under the inside right end and over what is now the left inside end (from Step 1). The ends that were on the outside are now on the inside (Figure 5).
3. Continuing working to desired length (Figure 6), then secure with an overhand knot.
Along with the fringe treatments shared here, Handwoven Home also includes instructions for staggered bound warp, staggered macramé square knots, and woven edge finishes. Liz has included several on-loom fringe finishes as well. Be sure to grab a copy of Handwoven Home, for all the details.