No spinning this week, because I’ve been weaving. I started a project of several bags woven as a tube, so as something of a swatch I’ve used the same yarn to weave the narrow shoulder strap. It’s way firmer than the finished fabric should be, but will give me an idea of how reasonable my guess at the sett is.

One thing about weaving narrow fabric on a big floor loom is it’s very easy to beat it too firmly. You have all that weight against almost no resistance. In this case, it’s what I want. I’ve set the warp for the strap very closely, the recommend sett for 5/2 cotton is 12-18 ends per inch and I’ve got it at 24. That means I have to beat the hell out of it to get enough weft in so it’s close to the same wefts per inch as the warp. With the mass of a 45 inch reed against 4 cm of fabric, this is no problem. I tried a sample at 16 epi just to see what happened and I could barely see the warp. I’ll probably try the wider piece at 18 and see how it goes. I can always fix it if it’s really horrible. Re-sleying the reed to change the sett after you’ve finished warping is tedious, but not all that complicated.

The bigger problem of a narrow band on the big loom is managing the warp tension. I used a knitting needle instead of the big steel apron rod to tie on, and with it only attached to the cloth apron in three places it tends to shift around. This is not good, as every time it moves it changes my warp tension. The warp is only tied to the rod in two places, so if one bundle slides one way the other half goes the other. It was ok as long as the rod was buried in the roll of warp, but once all the protective paper came off I just had it sitting there. Every time I advanced the warp, I had to fiddle with it. I finished a shuttle of weft with about 40 cm to go and decided it wasn’t worth winding another.

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