Resolving Ruffling Edges

Ask Madelyn

Hi Madelyn!

I have a problem that has happened in several different situations. I really like to use a plain-weave selvedge when I weave towels in either Atwater-Bronson lace, huck lace, or twills. In all these cases, the plain-weave sections build up more than the lace/twill sections, and the edges therefore tend to ruffle. I like to do the hems in plain weave, too, and they end up being slightly wider than the body of the towel. Are there any weaving techniques that can solve these problems?


Hi Barbara!

The reason the build-up is different between the lace/twill and plain-weave sections is that the weft threads interlace more often in the plain weave section than in the lace/twill sections. Where they interlace more often, the weft simply cannot beat in at the same weft sett. One of the weaving techniques for keeping the fell straight is to sett the plain weave selvedge sections slightly more open than the twill/lace sections. So if the lace/twill is sett at 24 ends per inch, try setting the selvedges at 20. (This difference should be greater for twill than for lace.)

For the plain-weave hems, use a gentle beat so that the weft sett is slightly less than the warp sett, and then also use a finer weft for the sections of hem that will be turned under.

I hope these steps help.


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