Here I’m talking about weft thickness for inkle band weaving, though it should basically translate for other warp-faced band weaving too, like band looms, rigid heddle for bands, or backstrap. Here is a band (same one as in the tripling warps experiment) with three different weft thicknesses. None of them are very thick: I’m not talking about repp weave, here. Just the affect of smaller difference in the weft thickness.
Bottom third: #10 thread. Middle third: 5/2 mercerized cotton. Top third: 3/2 mercerized cotton.
The band is folded into thirds and each section has a different sized weft in it. The bottom third has the thinnest weft, the middle third has a middle-sized weft and the top third has the thickest weft. The middle-sized weft is closest to the size of the warp, and is probably the size range I would normally select. I paid no attention to colors, so please ignore again.
I beat about the same for all the weft sizes, and here are my results:
- No appreciable difference in band width. But see #4.
- No appreciable difference in the pattern. By this I mean that the warp pattern isn’t stretched out noticeably with the thickest weft, or noticeably more compact in the thinnest weft. This was unexpected.
- The thickest weft is most prominent at the selvedges. This isn’t surprising. I don’t like it here, as I think it is pointlessly distracting but doesn’t seem intentional like a real repp weave would.
- The warps are not packed tightly enough to cover the weft in the bottom third. I did not expect that. I was pulling the weft with about the same amount of tension at all the different sizes. I think I should have pulled it tighter with the thinnest weft so the warp would slide together and cover it. I may experiment with that later, but for now I can see that with the same tension width-wise (the weft) and lengthwise (the beat), I get the same size but different weft-coverage.
- On the middle third, to the right selvedge, one of the warps is oddly concealed — there should be a light spot there in the middle of the turquoise like in the other thirds. While weaving, that surface was actually the bottom of the left side of the band. I will have to pay attention to my movements to see what’s up. I’ve worked hard to get into habits that make my two selvedges look the same, so I shall have to investigate further. Since this is the weft size I’d normally go for, I must see what has gone awry.
So I have two new questions now, from this experiment! What about pulling the thinner weft tighter? And what is up with my weaving at the underside left selvedge?
I have chopped this band up for use in a woven heart a la a fun post by Inkled Pink from a couple of years ago. The different wefts don’t make enough difference to bother about for that application.