Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Towel #10 - Honeycomb
Today's towel is a 4-shaft honeycomb. It's an interesting weave structure but I think its use is pretty limited because it is a "one-sided" structure - it has nice cells on one side and on the other side (see photo) it has ugly floats. In my towel, I used it as a border stripe, which creates its own problems because the honeycomb shrinks a lot and the plainweave towel did not, so the honeycomb border draws in from the selvage and looks pretty bad.
This might be a good structure if it were woven as an "all-over" honeycomb and then lined on the back side to make placemats. Mary Black, in The Key to Weaving, says it can be used for household linens, upholstery, pillow covers, small mats, purses and bags. She also says its use is somewhat limited because of the floats.
In any case, this towel was done with 8/2 cotton sett at 16 epi. The "thin" weft was also 8/2 cotton. The outlines of the cells are done with two picks of heavier yarn - in this case a soft 4/2 cotton. The wavy lines are unusual in woven structures and to get them you need to use a big arc in the heavy weft so that there is plenty of yarn to take up and wrap. If you don't do this, or if you use too hard of a yarn, you won't get the nice cells. The cells are done with six picks of the fine weft with two thick weft picks on each side.
I think it has a lot of eye appeal as long as you're looking at the right side.