28 November, 2011

Woven Textiles

By LuAnne Silvia, ASID

A couple weeks ago Emily wrote about the quality components that go into a well constructed piece of furniture, one of thm being COM, customers own material. Which is an industry word for fabulous fabric!
As designers we are surrounded by beautifully crafted textiles. Throughout the year we meet with fabric representatives to see what is new, but most of the fabric houses unveil new collections in the fall. This fall the collections were full of ikats, damasks, and embroidery, all traditional historical methods of weaving textiles that have been around for centuries.
History of the different weaves as listed on Wikipedia

Ikat, or Ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process process similar to tie dye on either thewarp or weft fibres.
Bindings, which resist dye penetration, are applied to the threads in the desired patterns and the threads are dyed. Alteration of the bindings and the dyeing of more than one color produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When all of the dyeing is finished the bindings are removed and the threads are ready to be woven into cloth.
The defining characteristic of ikat is the dyeing of patterns, by means of bindings, into the threads before cloth construction, the weaving of the fabric, takes place. Herein lies the difference between ikat and tie-dye. In tie-dye the fabric is woven first and the resist bindings are then applied to the fabric which is dyed.
In warp ikat the patterns are clearly visible in the warp threads on the loom even before the plain colored weft is introduced to produce the fabric. In weft ikat it is the weaving or weft thread that carries the dyed patterns which only appear as the weaving proceeds. In weft ikat the weaving proceeds much slower than in warp ikat as the passes of the weft must be carefully adjusted to maintain the clarity of the patterns.
Damask is a reversible figured fabric  of silk, wool, linen, cotton or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp  yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave.
Embroidery is the art of handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn.
A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work—chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch—remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.
Machine embroidery, rising in the early stages of the Industrical Revolution, mimics hand embroidery, especially in the use of chain stitches, but the "satin stitch" and hemming stitches of machine work rely on the use of multiple threads and resemble hand work in their appearance, not their construction.
Tune in this week to see what's new. I am so inspired by the fresh approach on these traditional fabrics: a play on scale,  interpreted motifs, and fresh color combinations.