In last weeks’ blog, I showed you how to interchange the two layers, something double cloth weavers of more than 4 shafts are probably quite familiar with.  This week, I’ll show you how you can use the weft stitching to create the textural impact you want….

Imagine using two different shrinkage yarns for your two different cloths.  Cloth A – your ground cloth – is woven in plain weave with a non-shrinking yarn.  Cloth B – your pattern cloth – is woven in a straight or patterned draft with a shrinking yarn.  Using the shrinking weft that you usually use with cloth B to catch a number of cloth A warp threads is very similar to the warp stitching, which is why I showed you the block technique which shows the differences. 

However, there is another technique in which you introduce a third warp or weft into the mix.  This is the centre stitching technique.  Basically, you introduce a third warp or weft, usually very fine, but you can make it thicker if you want it to be seen.  It is also usually non-shrink, but you can use shrinking yarn if you want even more of an impact. 

Originally designed for manufacturing to secure large double cloth areas together without actually interweaving them, this technique was generally used to hold the two cloths together during weaving, so that there were no rucks as the two cloths went over the breast beam and onto the cloth rollers.  The fine 3rd warp or weft exists only to interweave occasionally with BOTH the layers, but because it interacts only occasionally, it does not form a firm cloth and therefore, if you are using it for texture, you can get very mixed effects.  I have not really done much experimentation with this technique, but it is something I am interested in so I will be doing more later…. 

I would tend to use the 3rd weft method, rather than the 3rd warp.  However, the main drawback for me is that, because I tend to use plain weave on just a few shafts for Cloth A, if I tie the fine weft to any shaft on Cloth A, then the interaction will be very frequent.  On a jacquard loom, you could specify exactly where you wanted the ties to occur, regardless of which cloth they are in, and therefore you would have much more control over the placing. 

Hopefully this winter I will have some time to explore centre stitched double cloth some more. 

Next week, I shall be discussing double cloth and single cloth combined together for textural effects.