[HNW] weaving "ruffles"

Lynn Carpenter alwen at i2k.com
Sat Sep 28 15:22:50 PDT 2002

Mike Newell <72123.411 at compuserve.com> wrote:
><A number of tomb effigies from the 14th and 15th centuries show women with
>elaborately pleated and ruffled veils, which might be created by some type
>of embroidery.>
>These goffered veils are most likely created through weaving. I had a copy
>of an article from Kaffen-und-Costumkunde (thankfully in English) which
>explained this. I believe I once saw a copy of an article from a weaving
>journal which also explained that this could be done in weaving by
>deliberately weaving the middle section tighter than the edges, thereby
>creating self ruffles. (sorry weavers, for mangling technical terms)

I'm a weaver, and basically what I would do is pull the center warp threads
(the threads under tension on the loom) tighter than the ones on each edge
when I was first tying it on the loom.  Then all I'd have to do is weave.
The floppy tension on the edges would create the ruffles with no further
tweaking required.

Usually what we shoot for is getting the tension even, even, even.
Otherwise, the weft (the thread the weaver adds as she weaves) packs down
where the tension is tight, and won't pack down where the tension is loose.
 Then the cloth ends up with permanent tight-and-floppy spots throughout
its life.  I had not heard of this use of tension for veil fabric.  Some
seersucker used to be made this way.  (Seersucker can also be made by using
threads in the warp that will shrink when washed to draw tight parts of the

Sorry for the non-needlework post.  But this was the first I'd heard of the
veils woven this way, and I found it interesting.

Lynn Carpenter in SW Michigan, USA
alwen at i2k.com

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