08 August, 2012

Plain Weave vs Pattern Weave

Here's a quote from Mary Atwater's American Hand-weaving (New York: Macmillan, 1928) that surprised me:
It is far more difficult to weave a satisfactory plain-weave fabric than it is to make a piece in simple pattern weaving.  For the sake of logical sequence the plain weave is considered here, but the beginner is advised to pass on to the chapter on the four-harness overshot weave.  In plain weaving slight variations in beat show as very obvious streaks, especially if warp and weft differ in color and an even beat comes only with practise. (p. 109)
I suppose it's similar to what they say about how difficult it is to construct twentieth-century modern architecture and furniture compared to Georgian, Victorian, and such because there is no ornamentation, there is nowhere to hide irregularities and misalignment.

Good thing I didn't read this passage before I made my plain-weave vest, I might have doubted the wisdom of plain-weave for my first woven cloth.

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