Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two Faced....

Oi...I remember that term from middle school and the crazy antics that early adolescent girls go through:
"Are you my friend or hers?" 
"If you tell me, I promise I won't tell anyone."   
Then you learn that everyone in the building  has learned your most painful secret.

Happily I'm at another stage of life and the "two-faced" that I'm referring to are woven fabrics.  Cyndy commented in the previous post that it sounded tricky.  Actually it's not as tricky as one might think and I thought it deserved a blog post over view.

This is a topic that our weaving group, Cross Borders Weavers, has been studying for the past two years.  The deadline for our finished projects is two weeks from today, so we can start preparing for our exhibit at Michigan League of Handweavers Conference in August. 

What I have learned in these past two years is that a surprising number of weave structures produce fabrics that appear distinctly different on the two sides of the fabric.  We started out with Robyn Spady's workshop There's Two Sides to Every Cloth.  I blogged about that here.  Later we had Jennifer Moore come and teach us about double weave.

To get back to Cyndy's question,  there are many ways to make such a fabric.  A double faced fabric can be made with:
  • One warp and one weft as in 3-1, 1-3 twill fabric (but not limited to this structure...there are others).  This is the kind of weave structure used in jeans fabric.  Think about how the fabric is light on the inside (warp dominant) and dark on the outside (weft  dominant).  It's the structure I used in this fabric.  The 2 colors in the warp and weft  are used for the visual pattern, not for the structure:

  • One warp and two wefts.  There are quite few weave structures that will do this.  Overshot has two distinct sides:
               As does the Summer & Winter fabric in my previous post.
    • Two warps and one weft.  The following sample is from Robyn's workshop.  It's called Four-Shaft Double Faced Warp Mock Twill.  Lestra Hazel has done some fabulous scarves with this weave structure which can be found in the March/April 2011 Handwoven
    • Two warps and  two wefts.  This can be done as two fabrics that interchange surfaces as in these double weave samples from Jennifer Moore's workshop:
    or this 4 block-4 shaft double weave based on an overshot pattern:

    Or it is possible to weave two distinctly different fabrics that have either warp or weft "stitchers" that hold the two layers together as in this fabric which is based on the cover fabric of March/April 2010 Handwoven

    This is just an overview in response to Cyndy's question.  There are many, many weave structures that will produce fabrics with two distinct sides.  It was the topic for Robyn's COE study.  All you need are at least 3 shafts.......then a lot of imagining:  "What would happen if....."

    If you want to post more in the comments, please do.

    Now....I must get back to the loom.  There's a deadline looming (bad pun)!


    1. Great lot of samples and workshops!

    2. Thank you, Valerie! This is a great post! Really gets the imagination working...

      I appreciate the explanation and the photos help me to understand what the techniques look like. So interesting that there are many ways to achieve a double faced fabric!

      The analogy of the weave structure used in making jeans fabric made the light-bulb go on for me :-)

      And now I have learned some new names for structures too! You make it all seem so simple, thanks!

    3. I'm signed up for a Robin Spady workshop in October. I feel so lucky.


    tie in the loose ends...