Two distressed clay buttons secure this wide cuff made from an array of black polyester cord. They wider design is a variant of the basic tapestry weave technique explained here. The buttons are polymer clay textured with a walnut shell and over baked to achieve the brown color and texture.
A mix of hand dyed #24 cotton string and lightweight cotton floss incorporated into a landscape of color and texture.
This little bangle is another project exploiting the possibilities of a common modern material PVC plastic. This design tales advantage of PVC's ability to take and hold a shape when heated as well as the polished finish made with a cotton buffing process.
The overlapping ends are tapered to maintain the proportions of diameter to width then the rough shape is warmed in a stovetop water bath. The softened plastic is then placed on an oval mold and allowed to cool.
This view shows the overlap.
The rough-cut is then sanded to remove the cutting tool marks then buffed with a motorized wheel. The cotton buffing prices heats the surface of the plastic just enough to fuse the surface creating the smooth semi-polished texture.
I really like the color of this walnut brown dye batch so naturally I'm using it in these tapestry weave cuff projects. There are two innovations here:
1. The loops have one leg near the center of the weave which makes for a more secure grip on the button.
2. The warp cord ends are returned into the warp forming loops instead of cut off ends. This creates a less ragged end under the loops.
In this photo you can see some of the detail in the clay button. There are a pair of larger holes for the 3 mm warp cord. The surface texture is created with a walnut shell before the baking process hardens the clay. This button is made from the stock white Sculpy clay which has a bit of sparkle to it (invisible in the picture of course…)
Made on a 7" mold the finished cuff is about 6 1/2" (165 mm) inside circumference. This is a 6 strand warp, the center two strands are combined.
This cuff uses three different colors and two different weave patterns to achieve the contrasting textures.
The center is an open double strand weave where the weft is not compressed leaving the warp cords exposed in the checkerboard pattern.
The darker blue and grey segments use a double strand weft in a double over-under weave. Each pass is compressed against the weave to eliminate gaps. The gray segment uses a single loop at the edge of the double over-under weave.
The non compressed weft creates openings exposing the warp. The cotton warp cords exert enough friction on the weft to prevent bunch ups and distortions. (If you use a synthetic warp there is less friction so this technique works best with cotton.)
This cuff really is made with string - the variegated color of the weft comes from the use of dyed cordage that has been unwound exposing the color gradient within each of the yarns.
These pieces of partially dyed cotton yarn then are used in a tapestry weave on an eight strand warp.
(Now I know where the term "warp core" originated …beam me up Scotty!)
So here you can see the variegated color effects of the weft strands within the color fields. The button is a poly clay boulder button, readers of this blog had seen these on other bracelets. These are custom made with two oversize holes. The rounded shape passes smoothly thought the loops but stays put when engaged.
Size 7 to 7 1/2" (178 mm - 191 mm) internal circumference
Part 7: Adding a second color and finishing the weave
In this example a second darker color weft string is used to add interest to the design. The weaving is the same technique as before using a new segment of cord. Start by burying the new weft in the existing work then continue weaving.
Cut a length of the weft string and double it on the tapestry needle as before.
Insert the needle under the the weave alongside the warp strand about 1" from the end and draw the new weft string through the weave.
Then resume the weaving from side to side observing the opposite over-under pattern as before keeping the weft strands parallel at the turns without crossovers!
Continue the weave with the weft strands held parallel at the edges.
After each pass pack the weft cords down to eliminate gaps in the weave. Work from the turn edge across the weave towards the loose end allowing the weft to fill the gaps.
Here you will notice that those two loose ends of the warp strands have been grouped with the outside strands forming a new pattern:
over two - under one - over one - under two
leave the ends of the warp strands exposed, you will trim these off later.
At the button end continue weaving until the loops are stuffed with cord as shown. Use the tapestry needle to find the gaps and pack the weft firmly.
Fill the remaining gap at the button with the same figure-8 weave of the weft pair.
Using a wider 10 strand warp array allows for bigger areas of color and more pattern variations. Each warp cord is expressed by the wrapping creating a subtle ribbed or stacked effect.
This cuff is made with two custom poly clay buttons that have been overcooked to develop the earthy brown color. Pressing the texture also creates slight cracks in the edges giving this piece a weathered/worn texture.
Here you can see the abstract composition made with three colors of hand dyed string and two colors of manufactured cotton floss.
7 1/2" (19 1mm) circumference
2 3/8" (61 mm) wide
Here's a tutorial showing how these are made
This project started out with no fewer than 12 warp cords making it the current width champ. The idea was to experiment with color patterning. The offset weaving stuck to the single plain weave pattern where each warp cord was individually wrapped (no pairing).
Various materials are used including the dyed string and commercially available cotton floss.
The string has a more substantial thickness so the areas populated with string weaving have a characteristic thickness. The floss is very thin and even though it was double-doubled (four strands) it doesn't cover nearly as much as the thicker cotton string.
Here's a look at the flattened out view showing the variety of colors and textures. A grey cotton warp cord array was used to minimize the show through effects where gaps in the weft reveal the warp cords.
The buttons are a poly clay that was formed and printed with a walnut shell to achieve the texture (sorry you can't see it here) then overcooked to get the natural dark brown color. This extended cooking also assures that the plastic is fully fused together.
Here are a few more designs similar to this you might like:
The pattern is a so called "plain weave" which is the simplest over one - under one sequence.
Take a length of the thin dyed weft string and double it through another tapestry needle. I use an oversize needle for ease of handling. You may also use a piece cardboard as a shuttle instead of the needle.
Start at the loop end of the warp cords. Leave 1/2" open loop to allow for the button.
Draw the doubled string through the warp cords with a simple over-under pattern. Use the needle to help separate the warp strands as you work back and forth.
Turn the doubled cords over "ribbon style" at the edge keeping them parallel. Don't allow the string to cross over when you make the turn.
(Can you see the bad crossover in this photo?)
Keeping the pair of string (weft) cords aligned will make the finished work look nice and neat.
Use the simple over-under pattern as before and pull the slack through the weave and pack the weft together.
Initially the weave may be somewhat loose and appear disorganized. Leave a 6" piece on the end, we will use this later to terminate the weave.
Continue to work the paired weft string ribbon-style back and forth through the thicker warp strands. This shows the correct alignment of the paired weft strings.
After each pass firm up the tension on the weft by gently pulling the loose end. The spacing will be as shown with the crossover between the warp strands slightly smaller than the diameter of the warp strands themselves.
You may use the pliers or the tapestry needle to compress or pack the weave after each pass.