Woven Tote Bags, my happy accident.
This past spring I was playing around with double weave twill. I actually was working on a fabric not shown in the above picture, but that fabric led to the tote bags that you see. First I planned on making a lap throw. Fine. I was using the direct warp method, and was just about finished when I realized that on two of the 8 shafts, I had run out of heddles. Fine, I could start at the other end and add the 3″ additional warp. Wouldn’t you know it, I was short heddles on 2 of the other shafts on that side! Undaunted, I figured a wrap would probably be better yet. I wove the double weave twill, most times unweaving more than I actually wove. Fine. Then I got to the end of my weaving, feeling a bit uneasy that despite all the weaving that I had woven and unwoven, that it seemed a bit short. It was. Hmm. So I cut it off the loom, studied the fabric and realized that despite my best efforts, my fold was just dreadful, very holey , not nice at all. Well maybe once I finished it the holes and uneveness at the fold would work itself out. I threw it into the wash, and I lightly fulled the fabric. The fold was still awful. I also realized at this point that my fabric was going to be too short for a wrap, even with me and my short arms.
Even a shrug was out of the question. FINE. I would just felt the whole piece and figure out what to do with the fabric. Well the felting worked just great. It was a lovely soft woolen fabric. I kept thinking of all the time that went into a piece of fabric that could have more easily been woven flat on 4 shafts rather than double on 8 shafts. Well I did learn alot about double weave, although the fold still bothers me. I had woven a plain weave double woven piece, and was quite proud of that fold. What is it said about pride, it comes before the fall? Point taken.
Well I couldn’t stop fooling around with the fabric, it really was quite nice, and by now the holes at the fold were totally gone. I folded the fabric this way and that, and suddenly there it was, the tote. I had left the fringes, which actually made the whole thing fall into place. So my fabric evolved from lap blanket, to wrap, to shrug, to felted fabric, to bag. Fine.