Quiet Friday: Weaving Linen Air

Linen lace weaving. It’s like weaving air. 16/1 linen warp and weft, with uneven sleying and careful weaving. Beating is not the right word this time; let’s call it “placing the weft.” Gentle, gentle, gentle, easy does it. No temple needed. Indeed, what would you hook the temple into? There is almost nothing there.

Linen on the warping reel.

Winding the 16/1 linen warp on the warping reel.

Linen warp chain, ready to dress the loom.

Wound warp is chained and placed over the breast beam and through the beater in preparation for dressing the loom.

Dressing the loom with linen singles.

Ends are counted and grouped before threading.

Uneven sleying of the reed with linen singles.

Reed is sleyed unevenly, sometimes called “crammed and spaced.”

I did weave a sample, trying out different colors and sizes of weft. The weave is so airy; honestly, I was not sure if the fabric would hold its shape off the loom. To wet finish, I first soaked the sample for 20 minutes in hot water with mild soap. Then, I washed it by hand, lifting and lowering the net-like cloth repeatedly in the water. I rolled it in a towel and gently squeezed to remove moisture. Lastly, I laid it out flat to dry.

Half bow keeps linen from slipping, while allowing adjustments.

Half bow-tie makes sure the linen will not slip. Adjustments are easy, if necessary, after weaving a few inches.

Tying up treadles in the "playhouse" under the warp.

Treadle tie-up happens in the “playhouse” under the warp in the back. Sunlight through the linen reveals “invisible” hairy fibers.

Linen sample, not yet wet finished.

Sample, not yet wet finished.

Linen sample in black and white.

Black and white view shows cloth structure.

Result? It came through beautifully, with the lace weave intact. Linen, there is something about you that is exquisite and delightful, yet a bit mischievous and sly. I like you.

Linen sample after wet finishing. Karen Isenhower

After wet finishing and drying, the linen sample shows a glimpse of scarves to come.

Weaving linen air. Karen Isenhower

Weaving linen air.

May all your concerns be as light as air.

Happy Linen Weaving,
Karen

6 Comments

  • Charlene says:

    Your linen is beautiful. What weight is the linen? Now that it is summer it has great appeal.

    • Karen says:

      Hi, Charlene,
      I agree, the airy linen practically feels like summer. I am using Bockens 16/1 line linen. Bockens has glorious colors in their line linen.

      Karen

  • Diane says:

    Wow, I just picked up some estate sale linen – I don’t think I’ll make mine *quite* that airy, but yours is lovely! I’m thinking summer scarves, too.

    • Karen says:

      Diane,

      Lucky you for finding some estate sale linen!

      Yay! for summer scarves. Here in Houston, scarves in the summer need to be practically invisible. 🙂

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Klaasje says:

    That is beautiful <3 As Diane I just found me some sale (16/2) linen and thought of such an airy weave right away. I just love these as an art piece.

    • Karen says:

      Klaasje, It makes me happy to think that you might try an airy weave like this! I hope you have as much fun with it as I have had with these scarves.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

Leave a Reply to Karen Cancel reply