Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shadow Weave, sounds like a real cool super hero with hair extensions!

So, I would like to welcome everybody to the another Wefty Woman Blog post.

The subject is Shadow Weave. The example above shows a shadow weave in progress.

I want to extend my thanks Ms. Felicitas Sloves. She has been so kind as to suggest this topic and allow me to use her fabulous pictures.
Do I appreciate her for the use of her images and information on warping a loom front to back? Damn right I do.
Will I be so bold as to plug her sites and blog and shops on my Wefty Woman Blog? You bet your ass I will.

That said, here is a link to her Flickr site in which she has produced a series of photographs called "Steps for Dressing a loom front to back". The warp she is using in this demonstration is for an "8-harness shadow weave pattern".

Steps for Dressing a loom front to back

So what exactly is Shadow Weave? According to Ralph E. Griswold, in an article, cited here:

"A Shadow Weave
Weaves of this type produce the appearance
of shadows (which are more obvious on actual
woven fabrics than in images) by alternating light
and dark threads in reverse orders in the warp and

So here are my questions to get the discussion rolling.

Can anyone explain a little more about this pattern of weave?
Is a shadow weave limited to a loom with 8 or more harnesses? Can it be done on a loom with only 2 harnesses?
Is this different than say a Summer Winter pattern?

And now for a gratuitous plugging, the "warped bitch" way:
Get your finger (I am sure you are aware of which finger I will be using...) and click on the following links for Felicitas Sloves:


Etsy Shop:


And with that I give you the floor...

- Wefty Woman
One Warped Bitch


PB::JJ::WW said...

Anyone is welcome to post a question, I know that I have many when it comes to weaving patterns. I have a very hard time keeping track of the "stomping" of the harnesses.

If anyone has some pictures of what a shadow weave looks like when it is woven please put the link here and I will attempt to add it to the post.

I got one more question for you, is a fabric like iridescent taffeta a shadow weave?
Is that what makes the colors change.
I do not even know if that is what the taffeta is called. It was so popular during the 80's, I had this homecoming dress that was dark green but if you looked at it where the folds were made in the bodice, the taffeta was black. said...

Thanks JJ for posting my photos. Dressing the loom from front to back is just one way of warping. It just happens to be what I'm comfortable with and what seems to work for me. There are probably as many ways to dress a loom as there are weavers -- everyone has their own tricks. I'm still working on this shadow weave project. Hope to send a photo of the finished piece! Felicitas

PB::JJ::WW said...

So then you do not have to warp front to back for a shadow weave? Thanks for the correction, but can someone explain more about a shadow weave? Does the pattern produce a reverse of colors from one side to the other?

tisserande said...

I thought I had posted a comment on shadow weave/iridescence but it appears to have gone astray. So here goes again:

I don't know much about shadow weave, I have only tried it once. However, I do know a little about iridescence as I have worked a lot with silk. In my experience, it occurs when you are using a lustrous yarn like silk, tencel or mercerised cotton and the effect arises when two different colours cross in the warp and weft. I have had best results using plain weave or twill giving beautiful changing colours as the light catches it from different angles. Other weavers may have achieved it by different means .....

PB::JJ::WW said...

tisserande, thank you for that comment... So it sounds like iridescence is an affect that is produced without an actual pattern but a straight plain weave or twill. The effect is produced by utilizing the 2 different colors. Are those 2 different colors used in the warp as well? No...that would make more of a checkered pattern...right?(it is early and no coffee yet)

tisserande said...

Well, yes, you could use more than one colour in the warp and more than one in the weft. You would get a checkerboard effect but it would be an iridescent checkerboard effect! I have just finished (and sold) a scarf in a diamond twill pattern and if it is all right with you, here is the link, I think it illustrates what I am trying to say quite well

There may well be other ways of achieving iridescence - I am still experimenting! said...

Just to clarify shadow weave a little more... A block unit in shadow weave consists of a pair of contrasting threads. In the case of my bamboo project this is dark/light with the dark being turquoise and the light being yellow. But I have woven shadow weave with a thick/thin combination, and also a smooth/boucle pair. It is closely related to a twill weave. The Atwater system has a twill tie-up and the threading has the block unit threaded on opposite harnesses -- that is 1 and 3 or 2 and 4. The project pictured here uses the Powell system where the block unit is thread in adjacent harnesses and the tie up of the blocks are also on adjacent treadles. That's just the way I taught myself to do it. But Mary Meigs Atwater is credited with the development of Shadow Weave as it was published in "The Suttle Craft Guild Handweaver's Bulletin" in the 1940's. The guide I used in my project is from Marian Powell: "1000+ Patterns in 4, 6 and 8 Harness Shadow Weave" originally published by Robin and Russ Handweavers. It is still available, as it was reprinted in 2001. My pattern has 8 harnesses, but any shadow weave pattern needs at least 4. Hope this helps. Felicitas

PB::JJ::WW said...

Tisserande, that scarf is beautiful. What a wonderful example for those new to weaving to see. I am always amazed at the endless design possibilities where twills are concerned.

Yes, anyone, please put any links to your work that would be a helpful illustration of what you are discussing. (I am trying to see if Blogger has a feature to make the links in comments active ones.)

And a huge thank you to Felicitas/Memphis Weaver for clarifying a shadow weave for us, and also for citing and giving us some written sources to learn more about Shadow Weave. So you can do a shadow weave with two different types of yarn as well? (not just a light and dark color element)So if the shadow weave is a block unit, then can it be combined with other forms of patterns as well. Felicitas, you have to keep us up to date on the progress of you kimono. Be an exhibitionist and post links in the comment section of this blog post so that we can be voyeurs, and peeping we admire your goods...(so to speak.)

-Wefty Woman