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Double Cloth Blanket.

What do you do when a client wants a piece of fabric that is bigger than your loom? You weave a double cloth blanket where the fabric is woven folded in half and only opens to its full size once off the loom. This is what I had to do when approached by a friend who wanted a very large blanket for a newly built room; as soon as she mentioned the required size, I knew I would have to use this technique.

The concept of double cloth is fairly straight forward - two layers of fabric are woven at once, one on top of the other, and joined at one side so it becomes twice as big once unfolded. There are many variations of this technique that I won't mention here but if you're interested in finding out more, there are lots of resources on-line.

My friend wanted the cloth woven in a herringbone pattern which is fairly basic but, as she was spending a lot of money on yarn, I did some samples to make sure I got the sett (density) of the cloth right. It needed to drape well; loosely enough woven where the fabric moved nicely but not so loose that fingers go through when it's lifted up or too dense that it would be stiff and heavy. Many weavers dislike sampling, they see it as a waste of time and yarn but, even after 30+ years weaving, I see its value in certain circumstances and this was one such circumstance. When you take on a commission, you can't afford to get anything wrong on the final piece; any mistakes or development ideas need to happen during sampling and the extra time is not wasted by working through the variables.

The yarn my friend chose was from the North Coast Tweed range from the Border Mill and they formed a subtle palette of blue and green

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