Monday, April 6, 2015

The Dreaded Curled Edge!

Photo Courtesy the Internet 
What's Bean's got to do, got to do with it?

Well, not so much beans as the cheesecloth lids pictured to the left. 'What's cheesecloth lids got to do, got to do with' just didn't have the same rhythm....  That said [and the cheesy Tina Turner homage aside], it's an analogy I used in
To Curl or Not to Curl [where I released Inner Sheldon], in the hope of it being useful in addressing one of Circular Weaving's single most ever-unpopular and problematic--- curling edges.
For the purpose of this blog post, I henceforth dub said analogy:

The Rubber Band Cheesecloth Factor

It's a reference to how the fabric would look--all puckered up--while still surrounded by the rubber band in a relaxed state; once off of the jar. While I admit it's a bit of a stretch [Pun intended, and maybe a tad extreme], I thought it might provide a good visual for my Fibery Take on Newtonian Mechanics regarding:
What stretches out, has the potential to ease back to its former state. ~Laura Abbott, HeartSong Studio
Many weavers have experienced the outer edges of their Circular Weavings curling up to the point looking sculptural and/or bowl-shaped. And mind you, this has plagued both beginner and seasoned weavers alike! Hence my wanting to take a little more time to help hinder any further frustration. I especially don't want someone who is new to this form of weaving, to stop before they truly begin to enjoy the possibilities.

Because someone recently asked me:
'... is there a trick to keeping it flat?'
I set about readdressing the issue on my HeartSong Studio Facebook page.
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Here was my response to her question:
"I know this is a frustrating point for so many circle weavers. ...I can share my To Curl or Not To Curl blog post here, which helps to address this very question, but--- I believe the best thing that I can say to answer your concern is to not pull your Weft thread, or yarn, too snug as you pull it through the Warp threads.
Creating an Arch
I believe it is way too easy to want to do that in Circular Weaving. Here's a shot [from a pending tutorial] showing the arch that I create. -((Photo to the right--is what was posted in Facebook Comments))- I don't just pull the yarn straight through. I create the arch and then ease it--starting at the top of the arch--into place, using the tip of my tapestry needle. This becomes evermore important as you weave further out. It is too tempting to pull your threads or yarns taut --like a running or quilting stitch through fabric-- and that makes for not enough yarn to create the proper circumference at the outer edge."
From the center of Arch outwards
I decided to write this post because I wanted to expound on that answer; just a little further. With the exception of the first two, maybe three rounds [as you are tying off and centering the Warp Threads] let's not look at pulling your Needle and Weft through the Warp Threads like you're basting or sewing a Running Stitch. And with that reinforced, let's keep two things in mind.

Firstly: [and this is regardless the loom upon which one choses to weave] If your Weft yarn [handspun or commercial] is in any way spongy, squishy, or stretchy [however you define its character], if you pull it too snug or taut as you finish pulling your yarn through the Warp Threads, once your weaving is removed from the loom--once the fabric goes into a more relaxed state--you may not have left enough yarn to fully extent around the outer circumference; resulting in a Dreaded Curled Edge.

Secondly: If your Warp yarn [handspun or commercial] has any spring, squish, or stretch--depending on the tension with which to warped your loom--you need to give thought to how it will also relax back into its natural state, once your finished piece is off the loom.

Easing the Weft into place
Thirdly? As you weave, when you turn your loom for an angled view of the Warp and Weft, you very much want to see a pronounced rise and fall of the Weft around the Warp threads. And, it will appear more so around the Inner Rounds, and seem somewhat less defined throughout the Outer Rounds. Hence it being easier to want to pull your yarns straight through the increased warp thread spacing; being more open as you weave further out. Especially if you chose to warp around two loom pegs [a good option for bulky novelty or handspun art  yarns], as opposed to a Denser Warping.
Defined rise and fall of Weft yarn around Warp threads
It is my sincerest hope that this newly-dubbed Rubber Band Cheesecloth Factor helps in defining, and alleviating, the potential causes of the scourge of the dreaded curled edge. Well. Unless--- 
See? The funny thing is [albeit inadvertently], we have to some degree discovered [albeit frustratingly] the perfect way to weave an artsy shallow bowl!  Right? Or maybe there's the possibility of a sculptural cap to a woven hat. Or how about a HomeDec Pillow Top.  Or--- just--- Insert Your Imagination Here

A circle need not always remain flat. It can be dimensional. We just prefer to do some things on purpose.  But sometimes, our mistakes make for wonderful adventures in creativity.
That's it for now. And remember, you are more than welcome to stop by and visit the Circle Weaving Facebook Group.  It's a great place for Info-Sharing, Qs and As, and/or all for all manner of Inspiration.
Leave any questions you may have in the Comments. 
Or Facebook Friends can Private Message me.
Follow me to, HeartSong Studio
Bye for now, and Blessings~
And Happy Weaving! 

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