Diamond twill

Guys? Diamond twill is straight up sexy. It’s also found all over the place in period. And it’s easy to see why. It’s just as easy to set up and weave as any other 2×2 twill, and it creates this beautiful all over diamond pattern.

I mean, look at it. That’s what I have on the loom right now. It’s a 35epi purple and gold silk in a very basic diamond twill pattern. This is based on a find in Greenland mentioned in Woven into the Earth, believed to be an imported sample cloth as the small fragment was more densely woven than other textiles being produced in Greenland at the time. It also has four regular edges, and shows the full pattern, implying it was cut off just for that purpose.

Diamond twill works for, as far as I know, almost any early period persona. It’s that simple to make and prolific. But it’s especially easy to find in Northern Europe, we’ve got it from Sweden, through Russia, England, Greenland, ect.

Downside? It’s fallen out of commercial popularity. So good luck finding it for a reasonable price if you don’t weave it yourself. But! If you do weave you can find free pattern drafts for diamond twill and it’s sister broken diamond twill all over the internet.

Sizing

So today I found myself in the novel situation of needing to size my warp. I’m working in silk. This shouldn’t be a thing I need, but the silk I have is loosly spun and fuzzy so it’s matting together. Sizing helps prevent this.

Right! Before I go further, sizing is some sort of coating on the warp threads to make them slip past each other easier without felting. Normally done on fibers like wool or alpaca, a good sizing should wash out fully once you finish the fabric.

Because a good sizing will fully wash out it makes it super hard to document. Things that could have been used include: wax, tallow, wheat goop, flax goop, oil? But it’s hard to tell if the residue on cloth is sizing or if someone spilled food on themselves.

I’d rubbed beeswax on my warp before when I was making the white belt and I was worried the cards were going to abrade my yarn. That is as close to sizing as I’ve gotten.

Before today.

Super fuzzy silk of irritating stickiness calls for sizing. So I decided to try my hand at making flax goop. Why? Flax seed is cheap where I live and the process​ seemed super simple. And it is! It’s also super gross and I am never making this again if I can help it. I will trade for my flax goop.

Method:

-boil 2 cups of water

-add 1/2 cup of whole flaxseed​s

-stir until a white foam appears (disturbingly quickly, just so ya know)

-reduce heat and simmer until the seeds appear suspended in a gel the consistency of egg whites

-cool so you don’t burn yourself

-strain through cheese cloth to separate the useful goop from useless seeds.

Guys? I am a tactile person. Handling gel that looks like seed speckled egg whites, and smells like half sour oatmeal, made me gag. More than once. Straining it got this stuff all over my hands, making them feel like I’d accidentally spilled hair gel all over. This was unpleasant. I got enough to fill a tiny jar, and maybe coat this warp.

You may not hate it so much. You may find it’s worth the hassle. I do not. Next time I’ll try wheat. Or, bribing someone else.

Project list

Seriously guys, just what it says on the tin. A list of projects on my plate for the next year or so. I’m not exaggerating. So if I go quiet for a while, please understand I’m working on the next one and I’ll post when I finish.

1. 12x24in strip of black twill (collaboration project)

2. 15in x 45 in veil of broken diamond twill

3. 2 sets of leg wraps

4. Roughly 10 yards of trim

5. Handspun, hand woven cloak

6. Hand sewn Birka coat

7. Headband

8. Handspun, handwoven, hand sewn dress

9. Two belts

10. A tapestry

11. A couple over dresses

12. Silk and nettle veil

13. A couple underdresses