Chenille-Beginner

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catweeks wrote
on 4 Feb 2012 11:24 PM

Hi Su,

 

I just  read these e-mails and have a couple of questions.  What sett would you recommend using for a rayon chenille warp and 8/2 tencel weft?

Your e-mails were for 10/2 tencel.  If I use an 8/2 tencel weft, would you recommend 24 epi? (this is what I used for plain weave when I use tencel for warp and weft)

I am planning to make a baby blanket using 8/2 unmercerized cotton for the warp and a heavy cotton chenille (that I dyed)  for the weft.  I don't want the blanket to be too stiff.  What weave structure would you recommend and what sett?  Since it is a baby blanket it will probably be washed and dried in a washing machine and dryer - unless I should tell my niece not to do this.

 

Thanks, Cat

 

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Su Butler wrote
on 5 Feb 2012 7:10 AM

HI Cat......you asked:

"What sett would you recommend using for a rayon chenille warp and 8/2 tencel weft?"

For any rayon chenille that measures from 1300-2000 ypp, I would recommend a sett of 18-20 epi for plain weave, 24-28 for twill.  Using this sett range will result in stable fabric that will not worm, when coupled with enough weft picks.  Since the 8/2 Tencel is the same size as the core yarn of the chenille, you can aim for a balanced weave, i.e. plain weave of 18-20 ppi and twill at 22-30 ppi.  Since you are using rayon (Tencel *is* rayon) for both warp and weft, you can sett a little close and beat firmly and end up with a nice drapey end product. 

For warp, 8/2 Tencel should be sett, imho, just a little more densely than an equivalent sized cotton.  24 epi for plain weave is fine - my personal range for 8/2 Tencel as warp is 20-30 epi, depending on the weave structure I am using. 

For your baby blanket using 8/2 unmercerized cotton for the warp and the heavy cotton chenille as the weft - remember that cotton chenille does NOT have the draping qualities of rayon.  If you want a supply, soft blanket, my suggestion is to use the chenille sparingly.  If you choose to use plain weave, my preference would be to do a pick of the heavy chenille followed by one or two picks of the 8/2 cotton, or even better, one or two picks of a finer cotton, say a 10/2 or 16/2.  This will allow the surface of the blanket to have the fuzzy chenille feel without being too heavy or stiff.  You asked what weave structure I would recommend....for an all cotton blanket using heavy cotton chenille, I think I would use a twill of some kind - one with very short floats.  It would give the final product more drape.  A tied weave like Summer and Winter, which I think is more accurately called Single Two-Tie weave, would work well as you could add the chenille pattern threads where you wanted some texture, but keep the floats short and stability of the ground cloth intact.   You could weave it by using the cotton chenille for the twill or S2T pattern pick, then follow that pick with two picks of plain weave with a finer weft.  With an 8/2 cotton warp and utilizing a twill structure, I would aim for a sett of 24-28 epi.  Since the blanket will need to be regularly laundered, you want something that is really stable.  By using the chenille only for the pattern and the smaller weft to weave a plain weave stabalizer, you willl have that stability.  I would suggest that your niece launder by washing in warm water, spinning out excess and putting in the dryer ONLY on LOW heat, tumbling until dry.  The lower heat will help supress the rather extreme shrinkage cotton is subject to in washing (think of your jeans!), and the piece will be softer in the end. 

Just my opinion, but I hope it helps!

Best,

Su :-)

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catweeks wrote
on 6 Feb 2012 1:36 PM

Hi Su,

Thanks for your reply.  I have found out that the cotton chenille that I have is probably about 550 ypp - similar to Halcyon's Casco Bay Bulky.  I got 7 wraps per inch.  Halcyon gives a sett of 5 epi for plain weave and 6 epi for twill.  Maybe that is when it is warp and weft.  For twill do you think I should use less than the 24-28 epi for the 8/2 cotton warp as you previously suggested given the heaviness of the chenille I am using?  (Or is that number based on using alternate picks of the 8/2 cotton?)  I noticed that for the bath sheet project on Haycyon's site that they use 5/2 cotton for the warp and a 15 dent reed - so guess they have a sett of 15 epi (probably plain weave) but a bath sheet is probably denser than a baby blanket. (and their warp cotton of 5/2 is a little heavier than mine of 8/2)


Twill still seems like it would be bulkier and stiffer than plain weave.  I need to use the 8/2 cotton as it is similar to my dyed cotton chenille colors.  The colors I have of 10/2 cotton won't work for this project and I am trying not to buy a lot of new yarn.  I have not made anything using Summer and Winter so am not too familiar with that.  Also, I have a 4 shaft loom to make the blanket on.

Thanks, Cat

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Su Butler wrote
on 6 Feb 2012 1:47 PM

HI Cat.....OK you have 8/2 cotton for the warp......and a very heavy chenille for weft.  I guess my advice would be to sett the 8/2 at 24 epi, then weave the blanket in a twill, using two or even three picks of 8/2 for weft followed by one chenille.  Your chenille probably has a core yarn about the same size as your 8/2 cotton, so you could weave every other pick in chenille and get a pretty nice finished product.  Remember it is the core yarn that is weaving, not the pile yarns in chenille.  While the pile may look like it gets caught in the weave structure while weaving, when the piece is wet finished, the pile yarns all come up to the surface and create the fuzziness chenille is known for.  So weaving calculations must be based on the core yarn, not the pile.  WPI just does not work with chenille.    5/2 cotton could be sett at 15 epi for plain weave and work, but 8/2 cotton is smaller and needs a more dense sett.  Usually 8/2 is sett about 20-24 epi for plain weave and 22-26 for twill. 

Items woven in plain weave are the stiffest of all woven items that use a single warp system - i.e plain weave, twill and satin.  Plain weave has more intersections per inch than any other structure and that lends itself to a "sturdier" fabric.  Twills have fewer intersections per inch and therefore have more drape and less stiffness.  The piece might feel a little thicker in twill but it will definitely be more flexible. 

Hope that helps Cat....

Su :-)

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M. Poppins wrote
on 20 Dec 2012 8:51 AM

Hello Su,

I have only worked in wool and cotton before, so I am very excited to try chenille. However, I thought should get my info straight first. So..what I have picked up so far is that:

1) Weave at 18-20 epi

2)Keep an even, but moderate tension

3)Do not pull hard when warping

3) Do the fringes tightly

4)Hand wash with mild soap, and then dry on LOW

I did have a question regarding shrinkage. With cotton, it shrinks about 25% when you wash it. Do you have to calculate in shrinkage for chenille? If so, how much?

Also, if I have my basic information wrong, I would love it if someone would please correct me, so I don't mess up my scarf.

Thanks,

Mary

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Su Butler wrote
on 20 Dec 2012 9:23 AM

HI Mary....yes you have the essentials.  Of course sett is determined by the weave structure, so if you are doing plain weave a sett of 18-20 epi is just fine for any RAYON  chenlile that is 1200-1900 ypp.  If you are using different chenille or a structure other than plain weave, then the sett will be different.

Evenness is the important thing with chenille, not tight.  If too tight the cheinlle elongates and this causes all kinds of problems.  You can wash the finished item, if it was sett and beaten properly in the machine for about 2-3 minutes, lukewarm water, low revs on the spin cycle and only spin until the bulk of the water is out....then dry on LOW heat in the dryer until completley dry. 

I usually calculate about 10% shrinkage, but have had as much as 15%.  It tends to shrink more (poercentage-wise) in the width than the length.

I am sure if you are mindful and treat the chenille gently, all will be well.  Have fun and let me know if you have any more questions.

Su :-)

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sandtats wrote
on 27 Feb 2015 7:48 AM

Hi Su!

Yesterday my husband surprised me with a bag of  Trendsetter "Phoenix" yarn, a beautiful blend of variegated 66% viscose and 34% cotton (50 gr. 100 yds).  He wants me to weave it into a shawl for his mother.  She's Japanese, and the yarn does resemble the colors of river stones, those you might see in a Japanese garden.  Well, I'm relatively new to weaving, and thus far have mostly worked with "safe" yarns, yarns with predictable properties...wool, wool blends and cotton, so was uncertain as to how to proceed with this project re: the warp.  (The yarn store only had enough yarn for weft.)  I was thinking silk or tencel might be a good choice for the warp, as I want it to have a nice drape, then read your comments here saying silk was in fact a good warp choice for chenille.   Would silk also be a good warp choice for this yarn, would viscose/cotton behave similarly to chenille in the weft, and would the same suggestions you mention here re: chenille be applicable to my project, re: sett, beat, etc.?  
Sorry for so many questions, but still trying to educate myself re: types of yarns and fibers...so much to learn!  Any advice would be much appreciated!  And oh!  Having trouble finding your CD.  Is it still available?   Thanks!  Sandra

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Su Butler wrote
on 27 Feb 2015 10:22 AM

HI Sandra....

I am not familiar with the yarn you have been gifted with.  I looked it up online and see that it is a lovely yarn, likely meant as a knitting yarn.  That can work as a weft in weaving.  Since the yarn is rayon and cotton, and is not chenille, you do not have to worry about the same things you would if working with rayon chenille.  You could use silk for the warp if you like, and that would help keep the weight of the finished piece more comfortable.  You could also use Tencel, but all rayon products weigh more than cotton and silk, so the finished piece will be heavier.  Since you want a nice drape you might consider some kind of 2/2 twill.  Using a warp that is slightly closer sett than normal for twill for whatever yarn you wish to use for warp will yield a finished piece with nice drape.  I would beat evenly but not too hard....not too open either...make sure that each weft row kisses the one before it but it not mushed up against it.  

You are right - there is so much to learn in weaving!  You are wise to want to learn fiber properties from the beginning.  This will give you the tools to make good decisions throughout your weaving life!  

My CD is available through me.....if you want more info you can check out my website at www.subudesigns.com or just write to me with your email addy and I can send you the info on how to obtain a copy.  Hope that helps!

Best,

Su :-)

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sandtats wrote
on 28 Feb 2015 12:52 PM

Thank you SO much for your reply, Su!   I think I'll go with a silk warp, a 2/2 twill, and sett and beat as you suggested!   Not easy, teaching yourself to weave with the help of books and CD's alone, so a personal response from  an experienced weave such as yourself is invaluable!  Here on Cape Cod we have tons of knitters and spinners, a spinning guild, but only a handful of weavers, unfortunately!  And I was able to find your CD through your website, yay, and will be ordering it.   I have two friends who are begging me to weave them a chenille scarf!  Uh oh! Indifferent

Thank you again, Su, most sincerely!

Sandra

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Su Butler wrote
on 28 Feb 2015 2:16 PM

You are very welcome Sandra.  What size silk to you plan to use?  Remember your sett will have to be dense, and you should use a supplementary binding pick as well...something like sewing thread (silk or rayon) in the tabby sheds after each twill pick.  This will insure your chenille won't worm.  A firm beat coupled with the SBP will make your item wonderful!  

Don't be afraid of chenille...educate yourself on its properties and idiosyncrasies and you will be well armed to make gorgeous scarves!  

Have fun!

Su :-)

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