Handwoven May/June 2023: Mud-Free Weaving!

We’ve all woven mud, those unlucky combinations of close values in warp and weft. You won’t find that problem in this issue of Handwoven.

Susan E. Horton May 8, 2023 - 3 min read

Handwoven May/June 2023: Mud-Free Weaving! Primary Image

Véronique Perrot’s Square Fancy Cheche combines multiple twill and color-and-weave patterns. It’s light and airy in thin linen. Photos by Matt Graves

If you’ve been weaving for any length of time, you’ve woven mud and/or been disappointed that the pattern you were expecting didn’t show up. Just last week, I tried pairing natural linen with cream-colored cotton. Even after wet-finishing my sample, I had to squint and turn the fabric sideways to catch the light if I wanted to see the pattern. Might as well just weave plain weave if you have to work that hard to see a twill motif! But that’s what sampling is for, and thank goodness it’s easy enough to order other colors that might work better.

Jannie Taylor’s Violet Waves top shows the versatility of shadow-weave drafts.

There’s no mud in Handwoven May/June 2023. The designers’ motifs show beautifully, subtly in some projects and more prominently in others. For instance, in Jannie Taylor’s Violet Waves top, two treadlings create two very distinct motifs, a large one that makes up the body of the top, and one that is smaller and moves horizontally across the yoke. On the other hand, Véronique Perrot’s Square Fancy Cheche contains several different color-and-weave twill motifs, but the closer values of warp and weft create an understated, albeit interesting, patterning.

You won’t see any mud in the photography either. We decided to go big and bold with the backdrop colors to best highlight the colorful weavings. At the same time, we pared down the props, again to let the cloth shine through and take center stage.

Alison Irwin’s Light Sussex Color-and-Weave project bag shows off her skill in combining a wide range of techniques.

Every issue is unique, and I like them each for different reasons. Besides the projects and the bright photography, I feel that this issue is particularly chock-full of inspirational articles that can get you started on new weaving adventures. For instance, Ellen Kardell describes her method of weaving fulled deflected doubleweave rugs, and Nancy Taylor walks you through designing and weaving weft-faced twill rugs on opposites. If you want to design your own shadow weave, check out Rebecca Winter’s article about doing just that using the Powell method. Need help getting from idea to project? You may find it in Alison Irwin’s article, “Which Came First?” in which she describes the process she went through when designing her small project bag.

Check out this latest issue of Handwoven! It’s hard to miss!

Weave well,