Sunday, January 3, 2010

Crackle Weave on Eight Shafts

Way back in October Mum pulled a warp of teal blue Orlec with 200 ends for a sample warp featuring swivel. Now 3 months later the drawdown is no longer appealing, so a quest for a new pattern that used 200 ends was on. It had to be something interesting that could work with the workshop that Mum is on the last stages of finishing. A Crackle seemed to fit the bill, so this draft was created.
Here is a photo of the draft.

I had to do some sampling of weft colours because the Crackle pattern is very intense and needs to have a colour that compliments the warp but is still able to stand on its own. So out came the bin full of Orlec, what is Orlec you ask? Well, I have just spent a lot of time trying to find that out exactly what it is and here is the little that I found.
Orlec is an acrylic fibre which is non allergenic. It is also a strong and shiny fibre, yet very soft and it is machine washable with no colour degradation. 2/8 (or 8/2 in the US), Orlec is sold in ½ lb tubes and contains 1680 yards per tube. It is sold at a cost of about $7 for any of the 90 currently available colours. It can be purchased via camillavalleyfarm or at mbrassard. I tried about 10 different colours and the final choices were down to rust, rose and purple. I found that the best look was with colours of equal value, very strange the things that seemed to work. I decided to play it safe and go with the purple, 'cause who doesn’t find teal and purple appealing! The purple is shown in the centre.
The pattern is a little hard to see because it is very fine and busy, really, really busy. But I really like it. Up close the patterns are of circles and crosses.Yet from a distance there are shapes like buildings, like a city skyline.
I can’t wait to see the pattern when it is off the loom and washed. I think that is going to be amazing! This is my first crack at crackle!


Delighted Hands said...

Very what will you be using this woven fabric for. I want to warp fabric this year; to branch out to a wearable so wondering if that is what you are doing.

charlotte said...

This is an extremely fascinating pattern! Is crackle a kind of twill?

Valerie said...

interesting...thanks for sharing your thought processes. It's always interesting to see how someone else thinks through these situations.

Peg in South Carolina said...

One of the reasons I cannot stop playing with crackle is this way it changes depending on your viewing position. Another thing I love is how the computer drawdown really gives only the slightest of clues as to how the woven piece is actually going to look. Yours (the piece, that is) is quite lovely.

Lynnette said...

Hi Charlotte,
Crackle weave is also known as 'Jamtlandsvav' and is not related to twills at all, it's more like Summer and Winter or Overshot. Generally, the warp passes over three threads and is bound down every fourth warp thread. It is a block weave with incidentals defining the blocks. It is not a 50/50 weave, it is more weft faced than squared. The pattern I created is woven with no tabby as a true crackle should have. I'll go to any lengths to get rid of two shuttle weaving. Cheers

Cindie said...

I've already been checking out the colors available in orlec - thanks for the links!

Susan said...

I really like your choice of colours Ngaire! The draw down is quite pretty when viewed from a distance and it will be neat to see the cloth off the loom.

For a newbie, you are doing *very* well! Your Mum must be quite proud.


Peg in South Carolina said...

Actually crackle very closely related to twill---12321 is really a miniature point twill. Indeed you can intersperse genuine twill threadings into a crackle threading with little problem. As for its being warp faced or weft faced, that depends on the size threads you use for weft, warp and tabbies and also on the sett. Crackle is an extraordinarily flexible weaving system.

Life Looms Large said...

It must be great to live with such a good weaver!! A perfect way to learn!

You made a good color choice I think! It will be interesting to see where your exploration of crackle goes!


Connie Peterson said...

My, you do lovely weaving!!! I am in awe! I have been weaving for 35+ years, but have never gotten to the quality of work that you do.

I have a question ... I am getting an 8 harness loom (been doing 4 harness forever). A son-in-law wants me to make a table runner with Pac Man designs. Can an 8 harness do that? And if so, where would I find directions to thread and treadle something that is similar so I could adjust it to the little Pac Man?

If you have time, please email me at