Yarn Lab: Rigid-Heddle Experiments

Linen and cotton are loved by weavers the world around: they’re strong, versatile, and come in a rainbow of colors. In her Yarn Lab from the March/April 2017 issue of Handwoven, Jodi Ybarra takes cotton and linen yarns loved by mutlti-shaft loom weavers and makes them sing on her rigid-heddle loom. ~Christina

I’m dedicated to weaving with natural fibers. Cotton is my yarn of choice for comfort and versatility, and I also enjoy weaving with linen. Cotton is healthy against the skin and always makes my crafting experience an enjoyable one, while linen yarns are strong and lustrous, perfect for weaving items such as clothing and table linens. Unfortunately, some weavers think traditional weaving cottons and linens are off-limits to rigid-heddle weavers. This Yarn Lab proves them wrong.

Rigid-Heddle: Warp and weft floats sett at 10 epi.

Warp and Weft Float Sampler

Sample Yarns: Warp and weft, Pearly Perle (Natural and Melon).
This sampler illustrates several different patterns you can weave on one warp by using a pick-up stick. These patterns would be perfect for household items such as table runners or pillows, as well as for scarves. You could also use them for towels; just be careful the floats aren’t so long that they’ll catch when the towel is in use.

Sett: 10 epi.
Dimensions: Width on the loom: 6″; width after wet-finishing: 5″; draw-in and shrinkage: 17%. Woven length off the loom: 8″; length after wet-finishing: varies; take-up and shrinkage: NA.

Floats: Warp and weft floats sett at 10 epi.

Floats: Warp and weft floats sett at 10 epi.

Plain Weave with Warp and Weft Stripes

Sample Yarns: Warp and weft, Pearly Perle (Bleach White), Cotton Twirl (Sapphire).
I love mixing texture in my weaving. In this sample I warped thinner stripes of textured cotton between wider stripes of pearl cotton. I used the same sequence in the weft, forming textured squares.

Sett: 10 epi.
Dimensions: Width on the loom: 9.4″; width after wet-finishing: 8″; draw-in and shrinkage: 15%. Woven length off the loom: 9.4″; length after wet-finishing: 8″; take-up and shrinkage: 15%.

Checks: Plain weave with warp and weft stripes sett at 10 epi.

Checks: Plain weave with warp and weft stripes sett at 10 epi.

Leno

Sample Yarns: Warp, Linen 7 (Flax, English Rose); weft, Linen 7 (Flax).
This is my favorite yarn and technique for weaving placemats. The leno borders add just enough interest, but you still have a center area that is simple plain weave. Linen is the perfect yarn to use with hand-manipulated techniques. It has a strong and sturdy structure that holds the twist of leno perfectly. I threaded two threads in each slot and hole of a 10-dent reed.

Sett: 20 epi.
Dimensions: Width on the loom: 10″; width after wet-finishing: 8.25″; draw-in and shrinkage: 18%. Woven length off the loom: 10″; length after wet-finishing: 9″; take-up and shrinkage: 10%.

 

Leno: Leno sett at 20 epi.

Leno: Leno sett at 20 epi.

—Jodi


For more samples from Jodi and information on the yarns used, make sure to check out the March/April 2017 issue of Handwoven.

 

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