Thursday, October 24, 2013

Loom Controlled Shibori Chenille Scarf with Heat Set Pleats

In the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Handwoven Magazine there is a draft for a dress woven with chenille with heat set pleats.  I have never woven with chenille (it intimidates me)  but in my stash was a skein that was perfect for making this project.  I used the draft to make a scarf, not the whole dress.  The scarf is woven in plain weave, but the gathering threads follow an eight shaft twill pattern.  Four picks plain weave, one pick gathering thread.  The warp is a rayon chenille, the weft is poly machine embroidery thread.  Pretty slow weaving.

These pictures show the scarf after I took it off the loom, and the pleating and tying.

After all the threads were gathered and tied, the scarf was steamed for 30 minutes.
I let it dry, which took forever, and then started removing the supplemental threads.  One of the threads had broken when I was knotting the threads and although it didn't look like it would cause a problem, there was a definite flat spot in the scarf.  ARGHH
repair gathers.
 I thought about it for a few weeks, and then decided to try to repleat the flat spot.  Using a needle and thread I regathered the flat area and the space around it, pulled it all tight, then steamed the spot over a tea kettle.

  It worked!  The flat spot is gone, the scarf is soft and lush.  You can't put this scarf in the dryer as you would with a flat chenille scarf or your pleats would relax, so it doesn't have quite the same surface that most chenille scarves have.   I am  also worried that the tails will worm over time.  There was enough warp for two scarves on the loom and the second one is just a plain weave chenille scarf.  I twisted the tails 30 times in one direction with 3 strands in each side and they still wormed.  I have been told to only use 4 strands total and twist 50 times.  Sooooo,  I will untie and retwist, again.  I have already done it twice and it is still wrong.