I was very intrigued every time when I run across a photo or a post about iridescence weaving, showing gorgeous shawls and scarves.  As it turned out, those weavers used the techniques developed by Marian Stubenitsky, whose book Weaving with Echo and Iris” I got February this year.  And, armed with the knowledge, I started working on colours and pattern that will give me iridescence.

Here is a shawl, woven on a silk warp with cottolin weft.  Iris cottolin (3 of 5)

I constructed the warp from silk in four colours: pale pink, purple, turquoise and yellow-green.  The weft I used for this shawl is blue cottolin.

When I started weaving, I was surprised by how the fabric started to develop.  Long strands of warp started to surface, while their neighbours started to move to the reverse side of the fabric.   I also did not expect the width to be shrinking so intensely.  And the floats.  Yes, it is one thing to look at the weaving pattern on the screen and knowing that I have 7 floats.  And it is absolutely another thing to weave those floats.  I even started to doubt that I have the correct loom set-up.  But no, that’s how the fabric is supposed to be woven.  This just reinforced my belief that until I weave a sample, I don’t know how the fabric will look, no matter how accurate my computer mock-ups are.

But almost immediately I started to notice that if I look at an angle, I see iridescence. Not as much when the fabric is shown straight, but very much so at an angle.  Here are the photos of the same part at different angles:

I absolutely love the result.  I feel that I made a step forward in my professional development as a weaver, and the hours I spent at the computer, working on a weaving draft, and then weaving, are worth it.

Lessons learned:  Next time I will use thinner thread for warp.  I wove with 5 nm silk, and to me that looks a bit coarse.  Also, thinner thread will allow for more blending, perhaps.  And also next time I will not put on 25 metres of warp 🙂



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