Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mohair Shawl or Throw Part 2

Since mohair is really fuzzy there is no reason to do a pattern as it just won’t be seen, so plain weave it is!   I threaded the loom in a straight twill to help separate the threads ~ 1,2,3,4 repeat.

Again, since mohair is really fuzzy and prone to bridging use the lowest dent reed you have, in my case I had a 6 dent reed, so I was able to sley 1 per dent.
Single shaft lifted.

The real gem of information that I found on line was that the tie up should be done in the skeleton manner ~ one shaft to one treadle ~ so shaft 1 to treadle 1, shaft 2 to treadle 2, shaft 3 to treadle 3 and shaft 4 to treadle 4.  Then when you start weaving you press treadle 1, then treadle 3 to make your first tabby pick, then repeat the process for treadle 2 and 4 for the second tabby.  By lifting each shaft individually the bridging and tangling is minimized.  This system works great for a Jack loom but not for a Countermarche like my Louet Spring.
Both shafts lifted.

For a countermarche loom the for the system to work is that you tie up treadle 1 to lift shaft 1, treadle 2 to lift shafts 1 and 3, treadle 3 to lift shaft 2, treadle 4 to lift shafts 2 and 4. When you change shafts you lift shaft 1 first then shaft 2, then you throw the pick, this works like a charm!

The really horrifying thing about weaving with mohair as both warp and weft is that it sticks and bridges and clings together like mad.  You really don’t want to be un-weaving and if you do need to, you are forced to pull out clumps of mohair by hand just to change sheds.
After the shawl was off the loom I dithered around for yonks deciding on what to do with the fringe, I decided to stabilize the end by weft twining and doing a twisted fringe without the knots.  I then hand washed the piece because I have a front load washer and can’t really stop the process once it has started.

After washing to get some fulling, and drying the shawl (which was a feat considering we have had the wettest November on record!); I needed to brush up the nap to get the full effect of the mohair.
I bought a self cleaning cat comb to do the brushing and that is when I found out that my fulling wasn’t great.  Every pass of the comb made the weft move!  What a nightmare, it just hadn't fulled enough!  By this time I was totally 'un in love' with this piece.
This is the fibre left in the comb after one pass.
The end result is a mohair shawl that isn’t quite what I’d hoped.  It looks nicely fulled but lacks real fibre fusion, it has very little nap raised, but it looks pretty good in my studio on the red couch, so I’m keeping it.


Susan said...

Well that's not the outcome you had hoped for but nothing ventured, nothing gained! You can tick it off your list now and try another special project.
It will be cuddly these winter nights...
Thanks for sharing it...

Den said...

Wonder why you don't full it some more if you think it could use more fulling?

Dianne said...

My first introduction to weaving was at a market in Pirongia (south of Hamilton) where a lady was selling mohair blankets, warp and weft. I was so smitten I had to get a loom right off. I did try a pure mohair blanket (once) but had weave it in two layers and found it impossible to get a shed. Wove the top layer, cut it off then rolled the warp back and wove the second, selling both as shawls.
If you put your wrap out on a line or railing on a windy day it might help lift the pile.

Peg Cherre said...

I've had to 're-full' or rather 'more-full' my mohair a few times. It's impossible, for me at least, to know when it's 'full enough'. I had no difficulty doing the fulling again, then brushing. But I did the second round of fulling after just one pass of the brush, when I could see it wasn't full enough.

Did you try that? Could you do it now, even after it's all brushed?

karensspinzen said...

Thank you for explaining so clearly how to deal with getting a shed with mohair. I wish I'd seen this before I threatened mayhem and havoc to any and all! I'm almost tempted to give it a try just to see...nah. I think I'll just live vicariously through your pretty blanket/shawl!

karensspinzen said...

I wish I could have seen your post before I threatened mayhem and havoc while struggling through my own mohair project. You tempt me to at least Try...or maybe not. I think I'll just live vicariously by looking at your pretty throw/shawl!