Down the Garden Path with Rosepath
These fingertip towels are woven in plain weave with Rosepath borders. With a four-shaft loom and a little imagination, you can create all kinds of border designs. And with more than four shafts, the designs can be even more elaborate.
Rosepath is a threading system, sometimes called Bird's Eye, that holds many possibilities. The threading is essentially an extended point twill.
The example above is but one of many ways to draft a small extended point twill and it can be fun to play around with different threading variations to see what happens.
Rosepath is commonly woven as overshot, but it can also be woven in a variety of twill treadlings, cord, or even waffle weave, just by changing the tie up and treadling sequence.
But one fun thing to do is design motifs on rosepath and weave them with a pattern weft on a tabby (plain weave) foundation. By playing with the placement of the pattern wefts, you can create new designs. For these tea towels, I wove a garden...
And to complete our garden, how about some butterflies? Even if you do have to squint a little to see them.
For these towels, I used up left over skeins of cotton floss from embroidery projects. You can use two slightly different shades of the same color for a rich effect.
Plain weave with rosepath motifs
- Four-shaft loom
- Two shuttles
- 10-dent reed
20 epi (sley 2 per dent in a 10-dent reed), and 20 ppi.
8/2 warp spun cotton from Maurice Brassard et Fils (3360 yards/pound), you'll need about 720 yds.
- 8/2 cotton 130 yds (approx) each towel
- DMC cotton floss (doubled)—one skein per flower color (I used up bits of skeins from old embroidery projects.)
Wind a warp of 240 ends three yards long.
Width in the reed: 12 inches
Length of fabric on the loom: 18 inches plus fringe
Length of fabric off loom: 17 inches
Width of fabric off loom: 10.5 inches
Length of fabric after wet finishing: 15.5 inches
Width of fabric after wet finishing: 10.25 inches
The towels were hemstitched on the loom. I weave a small header at the beginning to space the threads out evenly, then leave some unwoven warp before beginning the towel.
Leave a length of weft approximately 4 times the width of the weaving, and weave 3 or 4 picks. Be sure to pull up any slack at the selvedges so there will be no weft loops. Then hemstitch.
Weave the body of the towel, adding the rosepath border. When weaving these towels, be consistent in your beat. The eye will detect an inconsistent beat very quickly. It is much better to have a ppi that is slightly "off" from the ideal but that is consistent, than to try to even up the number of picks per inch by cramming more in to make up for too few earlier in the weaving.
At the end, hemstitch in the same groups as at the beginning. In this case, I used bouts of 4 which will divide evenly into the number of epi and total number of ends.
Then I left about 4 inches between towels, and wove the second one.
The towels were wet finished by immersing in hot water with a little soap, swished gently in the water, then rinsed and allowed to air dry until damp. They were then given a hard press. The fringes were trimmed to one inch in length.
Laura Fry has been weaving professionally for more than thirty years. In 1997, she was granted her Master Level by the Guild of Canadian Weavers. In 2004, she self-published a book, Magic in the Water: Wet Finishing Textiles. Her website is full of articles and tips about weaving. She also sells her weaving books and supplies on ArtFire.