The fabrics in this collection are intended for use together. I used wool throughout because if there ever was a miracle fiber, it’s wool. Wool is resilient, which means that you can sink into a padded item of furniture and the upholstery will maintain its shape. A fabric made from fiber that has no give (such as linen) will stretch and create what I think of as a “fabric puddle.” In addition, the wool in this collection is fairly soft, so don’t worry about scratchy fabrics.
For the throw, I used a woolen-spun yarn from Harrisville Designs because it fulls when wet-finished, making it soft and cozy. I envision the throw paired with the sofa upholstery in this collection.
The upholstery for the sofa is worsted wool for a smooth finish. I threaded a 3/1 twill that reverses, making it a subdued but interesting fabric. I wove the second upholstery fabric with the idea of using it for a wing chair. The fabric is plain weave with a narrow stripe that has no regular repeat. See the warping and threading notes for the wing chair for instructions on creating the subtle pattern.
I designed the fourth fabric for a throw pillow for the wing chair. I used the same warp as for the wing-chair upholstery, but the weft was bulkier to create a thicker fabric. I felt that was appropriate because a pillow has simpler tailoring than a wing chair. I applied the same rules to my treadling as I used in the warp stripes to create a unique plaid.
#1 Fabric for a Throw
Harrisville Designs; Shetland; wool. Warp and weft: Topaz and Charcoal.
Warp: 14 epi (2/dent in a 7-dent reed)*. Weft: about 14 ppi.
*Don’t have a 7-dent reed? Use a 6-dent reed sleyed 2/3/2/2/3/2.
The fabric was handwashed in very warm water with mild detergent (Sharon used Dawn), rinsed twice at the same temperature, hung to air-dry, and then pressed.
Hemstitch around 8 ends. Finish by making twisted cables (2 strands of 8 ends each) with an overhand knot at the ends.
Tip for threading and treadling: If you start the threading from the right and the first pick enters the shed from the right, begin by treadling 2, 3. Then continue 3, 4, 1, 4, 1, 2. This way, you will always catch the warp end on the right side.
#2 Sofa Upholstery Fabric
3/1 twill. *Sharon recommends weaving this fabric upside down on the loom; a 1/3 twill is easier to weave than a 3/1 twill because it requires lifting 1 shaft per pick rather than 3.
Jagger Spun Yarn; Maine Line; worsted wool. Warp: 3/8 wool, Graphite. Weft: 3/8 wool, Bittersweet.
Warp: 16 epi (2/dent in an 8-dent reed). Weft: 16 ppi
Width: 7.6%. Length: 4%.
The fabric was handwashed in very warm water using mild detergent (Sharon used Dawn) and allowed to soak for at least 10 minutes. The water was squeezed out and the sample was rinsed two more times at the same warm temperature. The sample was then blotted, dried flat, and pressed when nearly dry. (Remember that wool holds quite a bit of water even when it feels dry.)
#3 Wing-chair Upholstery Fabric
Jagger Spun Yarn; Maine Line; worsted wool.
Warp: 2/8 wool, Graphite; 3/8 wool, Jade. Weft: 2/8 wool, Graphite.
Warp: 16 epi (2/dent in an 8-dent reed). Weft: 20 ppi.
Width: 12%. Length: 8%.
The fabric was washed in very warm water with mild detergent (Sharon used Dawn), rinsed twice, dried flat, and pressed.
WARPING AND THREADING NOTES
Wind 4 ends at a time, 3 of 2/8 wool Graphite and 1 of 3/8 Jade. Take care not to let the ends twist around each other. Threading from the cross, take the ends in random order but never let 2 Jade ends land next to each other.
#4 Fabric for a Pillow Cover
Jagger Spun Yarn; Maine Line; worsted wool. Warp: 2/8 wool, Graphite; 3/8 wool, Jade. Weft: 3/8 worsted wool, Graphite and Jade.
Warp: 16 epi (2/dent in an 8-dent reed). Weft: 16 ppi.
Width: 4%. Length: 11%.
The fabric was washed in very warm water using mild detergent. It was soaked for at least 15 minutes, then squeezed so the water saturated the cloth, rinsed twice at the same temperature, dried flat, and pressed when almost dry.
WARPING AND THREADING NOTES
See Wing-chair Upholstery Fabric.
Never weave more than 6 Graphite picks in a row and never weave more than 1 Jade pick before switching back to Graphite.
SHARON ALDERMAN has been weaving since 1969. She has lived in Salt Lake City since 1970 and considers herself a Utahn. She camps in the Wasatch Mountains in the summer and feels lucky to do so.