Floating Selvedges & How to Add One

Floating Selvedges & How to Add One

– [Jane] This is a little wee
video about floating selvedges and why they are required,
and how we can deal with them. There are certain weave
structures in the weaving world that require floating selvedges. One of them are twills. Another situation where
you might require them is a weave structure called canvas weave. Canvas weave has a
(clears throat) pardon me, a sequence in it where there’s
two picks in the same shed. To be able to put two
picks in the same shed and not have it pull out again, we need to have something
called a floating selvedge that anchors those two picks. Our weft would come
out, go over this thread and go back into the same shed, and this would prevent
it from pulling through. The ideal situation for creating fabrics that have floating selvedges is to build that floating selvedge into the warp, so that it’s all part of
the warp from the get-go. And then we can control the weight on this, or control the take-up on
this, by putting a weight, hanging a weight off the floating selvedge on the back of the loom, which is what I’m going
to do in a few minutes. What if you are weaving
away and you totally forgot to do that, that you didn’t include two extra threads in your warp, one on one side and one on the other? This is what you do. This little fella here used to belong in this heddle. I caught that right at the very beginning, that I didn’t have a
floating selvedge on it. So I undid my very first bout of weaving and pulled it out of this heddle. It gets pulled out of the heddle, it got put back into the
reed and tied back in, and now it floats. It doesn’t ever move up or down,
it just sits in the middle. When I step on different
treadles, it doesn’t move. Everything moves around it. That’s my floating selvedge. I have been known to cut a heddle if I was weaving plain
weave for a long, long time. Let’s just say what
that situation could be. I wove ten tea towels, all in plain weave, and then I started to play with twill and I was having problems
with my selvedge, so I needed a floating selvedge. Well, I know it sounds awfully harsh, but I have many a time
just cut the heddle eye. Like that. (scissors snip) Taken the thread out of it, and then it will be floating again. I know this seems a little harsh, but it’s a quick and easy way
to make a floating selvedge. The third way is to actually take a separate piece of yarn, pin it into the front of the cloth here, run it through the reed,
run it from the back, and weight it off the back
with something that hangs. That means that every time you advance your warp you have to go back, or every few times that
you advance your warp, you have to go back and
lengthen that thread and the weight hanging off of it. This is my preference, is to
have it built into the warp, or to cut it out of a
heddle and let it exist. It’s still wound into the warp. And when I go to the back,
I’m going to show you how I weight it. I have a whole lot of
little S hooks in my life. And I have a lot of little
tools that came with looms. You just need enough weight. Just enough weight. You’ll know if it’s too much, and you’ll know if it’s too little. ‘Cause if you don’t have enough weight, it’s sloppy and it’s moving around. And I don’t know how much
you’d have to put on it to have too much weight, but (chuckles) there you go. I’m going to put this on the back. So here it is, it’s coming around there. I can pull it out on that beam there, the thread beam, so that I can isolate it,
and then I just hang this off and it sits here and lives here. Every time you advance
the warp at the front, this drops down a tiny, tiny little bit, but it maintains tension on
that warp thread the whole time, and I never, ever have
to deal with it again, which is so nice. That’s why I prefer this method to hanging something off the back that constantly needs to be tended. This, you never touch them again. So I’ve got a floating
selvedge on this side, I have a floating selvedge on this side, they each have two
little wrenches on them. This one’s a little smaller than that one. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just enough weight to pull the slack out of your floating selvedge. And your floating
selvedge gets slack in it because it does not have any take-up. All the other warp threads
get a little bit shorter every time we put a weft pick in. But because the floating
selvedge doesn’t have a weft pick pushing it up and pushing it down. It just wraps around it,
there is no take-up on this. That’s why it gets longer. These all are getting shorter as the cloth becomes
more three-dimensional. So this is a quick little trick for managing a floating selvedge. Hope that helps!

2 thoughts on “Floating Selvedges & How to Add One

  1. Very helpful! Iā€™m a new weaver and need all the help I can get! Some videos assume you know more than you do. This one is explicit and clear!

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