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  • Emma Baker

Weaving a twill collection of merino scarves

Updated: May 21

Introduction

What started as an initial weave to use up small cone ends of fine merino lambswool has progressed to the weaving of a larger collection of bright twill handwoven scarves, shawls, ties and cowls.

Handwoven blue, navy and pink shawl


In May, I decided to see if I could create a weave to use up small quantities of yarn in a range of colours. I decided that I would weave a bright multi-coloured twill weave with approximately 1 inch widths of each colour. The need for the narrow width of warp colours was that this width would require only a small amount of yarn which was perfect in allowing me to use up the odd cone ends.





Merino Yarn

For the majority of my weaving I use 2/17nm merino lambswool at a sett of 15epi. It is the most beautiful of yarns, spun in the UK and supplied in a large range of colours. Merino wool, sourced from merino sheep is prized for its fine, soft fibres. It is known for its natural breathability and insulating properties and it offers unparalleled comfort in all seasons. These qualities make merino wool an excellent choice for the creation of luxury scarves, shawls and cowls. The yarn comes with a coating of spinning oil which serves to give the fine quite fragile yarn a little more strength. After weaving, the fabric is washed and once the spinning oils are removed it fulls beautifully to create a gorgeous plump and soft cloth which is perfect for scarves, shawls and cowls.


The initial weave

I decided to use a twill weave. Twill adds a depth and dimension to a fabric as it involves weaving the weft thread over and under multiple threads in a regular pattern, creating a diagonal line effect. Whilst wanting to use up some cone ends I was also keen to include navy blue alongside other bright colours with a colourblock impact. The images below show the warp being measured on the warping mill, the warp chains and the warp which has been wound onto the back beam.

Weaving a merino wool bright twill weave on the floor loom


After spending several days dressing the loom I started the weaving. I was initially not very happy with the weave as I felt I had chosen too large a range of colours. Doubts were further cemented by a family member who suggested taking the warp off the loom and throwing it away! I didn't choose this option but decided to use a narrow range of colours for the weft. As I should have known the final weave was totally transformed with the choice of weft colours.






After this first weave I have since rethreaded the loom with narrower ranges of warp colours to create a number of fabrics in different colourways.


How many uses for one fabric?

One of my missions seems to have been to see how many different items I am able to make from this twill fabric. To date I have made several shawls, bow ties, lavender bags, cowls, a lampshade and some wall art. I think my favourite items are the handwoven ties and shawls.


Having woven a range of fabrics using the same bright twill design I am hopeful that others will like and enjoy wearing one of the shawls, cowls, scarves or ties. The wall art and lampshade have found a permanent home in my own house!


My handweaves are for sale in my website shop so do visit it if you are interested in seeing each of the accessories created from this weave.


To keep up to date with what is on the loom, what is off the loom, new products and weaving workshops please sign up to receive my news email by clicking here.




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