Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Cloth Design

While I wait for the yarn and loom parts to arrive, I'm taking advantage of the time to design the next batch of cloth. I'm basing the technique on two successful features of my past weaving: randomness and pointed advancing twills.

All of my design inspiration comes from nature. In this case, I'm calling on the pattern in the center of the Orb Weaver Spider's web.

The beam will be warped in shades of white to conjure visions of wedding dresses, bunnies, and other symbols of Spring. The pieces will be woven with a variety of colors from off-white, tan, grey, and black to rich, vibrant colors. The end results will range from chaste to garish.

Since I'm still quite new at designing cloth for production, I'm glad for the time to do it carefully. Using a textile CAD software called Arahweave, I've worked to design a weave structure that behaves the way I want it to.

I had several goals in mind when I set out to design this cloth. I wanted to play with a slowly advancing twill where the "eyes" in the pattern become a minor feature compared to the dominating zigzags. I also wanted the zigzags to advance slowly enough that they cause visual tension against the straight stripes of the warp. I want people to subconsciously wonder if the zigzags are really meandering and how that might be possible.

After I had the weave structure designed, I sat and played with yarn colors. One thing that sets Arahweave apart from other weaving CAD software that I've tried is its extremely robust yarn modeling capabilities. I like the organic effect that comes from using multiple threads plied together on the bobbin, and Arahweave lets me model that.

It's so easy to try new color combinations that I just sit and play with it. When I get a combo that I like, I save an image of it.

This "play" has led me to a new effect that I can't wait to try. With a warp in shades of white, the structure will be obscured if I weave with white thread. It will be highlighted if I weave with dark thread. If I ply the two together, it seems like the structure will play peek-a-boo, disappearing in white-dominant sections and being revealed in dark-dominant sections. I hope it's as cool in person as it is on the screen!

1 comment:

bamingshen said...

WOW Blossom. Cool design!
That eclipse was awesome indeed. I saw it from Tryon Farms with those reclaiming folks.
Miss you all up there! Glad to hear all of you doing well.