Monday, November 17, 2014

Silk gauze and Selvage

How to find out where selvage was if you have a cut piece of silk gauze without selvages?

For example, I have this piece of 35 count silk gauze. Before to mountain on the frame I need to figure out where selvage was and mark it.

There are 2 terms that are used when we talk about a woven canvas/fabric: warp and weft. Warp is the tightly stretched lengthwise core of canvas and weft is woven between the warp threads. Since warp threads are coming lengthwise out of selvage our task is to identify where is warp and weft are on this piece of 35 count silk gauze.

If the piece of silk gauze is not marked or has no selvage, pull one thread from the vertical side and one from the horizontal side.

Compare them. One thread will be crinkly and split in 2,

horizontal side

and another thread will be smooth:

vertical side

The warp threads are treated to withstand the tension in weaving. Weft thread is not.

The smooth one is warp and this is where the selvage was.

It means, when my piece of silk gauze is ready to be worked on, I will frame it this way.

Now, if you want, you can take a piece of silk gauze with selvage and repeat this experiment again to see what I mean.



Dorien Litjes said...

Dear Natalia,
Thanks for this explanation.
Hugs Dorien

Melissa Boling said...

This is interesting, but I'm confused. Unless I'm misunderstanding, it looks to me like you have the weft threads parallel to the selvedge, but weft goes left to right, perpendicular to the selvedge. Since the squares are actually rectangles, I just look at the shape of the rectangles to determine which way I orient the gauze in the few cases where it might matter. Is there some other reason why it matters other than the shape of the holes which affects the final size and shape?


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