Parallel Scarves

The last project on my old floor loom was a set of three scarves in parallel or echo weave. In my stash there was some Tencel yarn in four colours for the warp. I picked these up more than a decade ago with the idea that I would weave scarves. I’m so glad I finally got around to them.

Warp Colours

For parallel weave there are multiple warp colours in a repeating sequence. I designed a point twill for the first colour, then echoed that twill line for each of the other colours, a fixed number of shafts up from the last one. Fortunately, my weaving program has a parallel design feature that allows you to specify the base twill line, then the number to offset each of the subsequent colours. The resulting draft looks like this:

Parallel Draft

The warp is sett a bit closer than for a normal twill, allowing the warp threads to deflect a bit. This means there were lots of warp threads and the resulting fabric was thicker than you would get with twill or plain weave. Winding and threading the 250 warp threads took quite a bit of time. Each warp thread must go through a heddle on the correct shaft (1-8), maintaining the colour sequence.

Threading

While the warp has four colours in it, the scarves weave reasonably quickly as there is only one weft colour. I chose a different colour for each of the three scarves. For the first scarf I chose the same green yarn as in the warp. This made the green (and brown) twill lines less obvious, showing the coral and rust warps more prominently.

Green Scarf Detail

For the second and third scarves I used a 16/2 bamboo weft. This was a bit thinner than the tencel, but worked quite well. Scarf 2 used was in a sage-like colour called cactus.

Cactus Scarf on Loom

And scarf 3 was woven in Brown.

Brown Scarf on Loom

After weaving the scarves were a bit stiff, but once they were washed and pressed, they came out wonderfully soft. The denser weave structure along with the shiny tencel/bamboo yarns gives the scarves an iridescence in real life that is difficult to capture in a photo.

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