Simple damask with ArahWeave software for weaving
From a scanned picture to a design ready for production
We start with an image scanned at 200 dpi.
Load the image in ArahPaint. If your scan is not perfectly straight you can use Rotation tool to straighten the image. Normally, you need to select an area and then rotate it by certain angle defined by degrees. In most cases, it is difficult enter the degrees angle and visually assess if the image is straight after rotation or not. ArahPaint has a special function to help you out in this situation. It allows you to draw a line over the picture area, which is supposed to be straight, and the program will calcualte by which angle should the image be rotated, and will rotate the image for you. Before using this function, you should first be sure that you do not have any floating selection or layer, since we want to to rotate the whole image. You can click deselect tool to drop any floating selection or layer. Then select Image >Rotate image.... Use the mouse to draw a line which is supposed to be horizontal (or vertical). Usually, this line will will lie on the border of your repeat area.
The upper image shows the image before rotation, and the lower one after rotation. If you like the result, press Close, if not press Reset and redraw the line.
Then we have to find the smallest element of repeat (without mirror and halfdrop) and cut it out of the image. To accomplish this, choose the rectangular selection tool from the toolbox, and draw the selection of your repeat with mouse.
In the above image, we have intentionally selected a slightly bigger repeat area; we will fine-tune the repeat borders on a magnified picture. To zoom in or out, use + or - key, or press CTRL key and roll mouse wheel up or down. When you change the zoom level, program will center of the zoom on mouse pointer. To change the position of the selection border (before moving the selection), move the mouse over the selection border, and when mouse cursor changes, press left mouse and adjust selection size.
Than select Image > Crop to selection. The picture in ArahPaint, now contains half of the mirrored repeat. The current image size and zoom level are displayed on the window title.
Before doing any image cleanup and corrections, we need to set the size of the image with respect to the number of ends (hooks) and weft density in the finished fabric. Select View > Repeat Dimensions. You can set the repeat dimensions in millimeters (inches), dpi (dots per inch), or threads per centimeter. The usual way is to enter the density in threads per cm.
Now we need to resize the image so that it will match our jacquard size, but we also need to keep the image in proportion, we do not want our fabric image to be elongated because of lower density in weft. This calculation is not difficult, but it you do not do it every day, it may be challenging. Again, ArahPaint has special tools to make your life easier. Select Image > Resize image.... Program can use your final fabric density to calculate the new height (number of wefts), that will keep the image in proportion. Just enter the desired number of hooks (image width, for instance: 300), and press Density button in the Transform window, to get your new height.
The software has calculated the Height of 351. This is mathematically correct, but we advise you to change it to a number, which is divisible by 3, 4, and 5, so you will be able to use weaves with different repeat size in height. At this stage, most users are unsure about which weaves will they finally use, so it is a safe bet to make the height divisible by many numbers. But if you have made your mind on weave selection in advance, you can make it divisible only by the weaves which you plan to use. If your height will be a prime number, it will not be divisible by anything, and you will have an error at the end of the repeat, no matter which weave you put it. In our case, height 360 is divisible by many numbers and is not too far from 251. We have another option to set: the type of image scaling algorithm. If you set Filter option menu to Bilinear, it will be slightly slower, but it will reduce the errors caused by resizing the image. Then press the OK button.
Currently the image is still in true color mode, you can see that the color palette in the lower right angle is empty. We need only two colors, since we will insert two different weaves, one for light and one for dark color. You can use two types of color reduction:
- automatic: Choose Set number of colors from Colors menu, and change the current number of colors to the desired one. Program will automatically select the colors, which are the most important for this image, and map all the other colors to the chosen ones.
- user defined: Choose Reduce number of colors from Edit menu in color palette window, and manually select colors, which you want to keep in the image. You can also use Preview button, to check if it really keeps the visual information which you want to retain.
In this example, we are using automatic reduction. Set number of colors to 2.
Once your click OK, all colors will be mapped to the closest among the selected colors, and you will get the resulting color palette in the lower right corner.
At this point we start with the correction of contours. You should use different drawing tools (single line, arc, fill with color...) and work in the different levels of zoom. To check and correct borders of the repeat use Image > Drawing in repeat and select the correct type of repeat and position of each motif. If you just click OK, program will switch to repeat view.
You can also draw the image in repeat, across borders. There are few mistakes in the image which are easy to correct in the repeat view.
The above image has small errors on repeat junctions, and below is the corrected image.
We will use the mirroring of the basic motif, to get the final size of the picture. Again use Image > Drawing in repeat, select just two horizontal repeats, and enable New picture toggle button before pressing OK. This will generate a new image with size 600x360 in the specified repeat. A careful observer will notice, that image is not perfectly symmetrical - you need to draw the diagonal interlace pattern in the middle of the motif by hand. It is quite common that nice designs follow some overall mirror or halfdrop logic, while some elements are breaking it. This is the usual procedure - you draw the smallest part of repeat, then you generate the image in full block repeat, and fix the elements which did not fit into logic of mirroring or halfdrop.
When the image is in seamless repeat, the number of colors equals the number of weaves to be used, and the size of the image equals or divides the pattern hooks (warps) and wefts (picks), we can pass the image to ArahWeave. There, we will select one weave for every color, and apply the weaves: colors will be replaced by weaves. In the process, we can move the weave around to achieve good weave junctions or different color effects. You can now save your image, close ArahPaint and open ArahWeave. Open the Weave menu and choose Jacquard conversion. A new window will be opened. Load a finished picture, and than load a suitable weave for each color. In our example, we will use warp satin 7/1 for ground, and weft satin 1/7 for effect. We can use weaves from our database, or we can create/draw weaves during jacquard conversion. If we just load the first satin, then we can generate the second one by copying it to second color with right mouse button, making a negative of it with from the tools on the right, and then mirroring it vertically by .
By pressing OK, you get the jacquard weave based on color image and weave selection. The final jacquard weave is shown below in the weave editor. To get the weave editor, you can press right mouse button in the main ArahWeave window, with the weave area positioned at the mouse click.
If we want to see a realistic fabric simulation prior to weaving, we need to set a few more parameters. First, set the warp and weft patterns to
1a, since we are only going to use one yarn color in warp, and one color in weft. Use Fabric > Thread pattern in main window of ArahWeave. Then enter the warp and weft pattern, followed by a click to OK and Close.
Set yarn count and twists in yarn editor (Fabric > Yarns). First click on the yarn you want to change;
A for first yarn in warp, or
a for weft, and then edit it.
Set the desired colors in the Color edit window using Fabric > Colors. In this example we use PANTONE® for fashion and home, which is very common in textile world.
Go into Fabric > Density and set the correct density for warp and weft.
To get the simulation of the fabric in main window, select View > Simulation 6. If you want a higher quality of simulation, select a simulation with a higher number. Rendering will be slower, but precision will be better.
If you wish, you can print out the fabric simulation to a printer, or save it to an image file, like JPEG, so that the customer can confirm the pattern before weaving. For best results, use the printout, but if customer is very distant, and you agree to use color library for color specification, you can save a lot on the express courier, if you just e-mail the picture. To print a fabric simulation, use Files > Print fabric to printer.
We are now at the last step of preparation of our sample for production. You have to know the parameters of the jacquard and the loom to accomplish this. This information is called "cast-out" in weaving terminology. So you will know what to ask for in the mill, if you work as design studio, and you want to prepare a file for a particular loom in that weaving mill. In the example, we have single jacquard head with 1344 hooks, out of which 1200 are used for design, and each design hook carries four threads. Enter total number of hooks in Weave > Save cards for production. Then edit loom layout, by entering the type and number of hooks for each element, load a weave for selvedge (by clicking on upper right corner area) and choose the output format. Insert a floppy, click OK and you will get a design, prepared for production on jacquard loom. If you have electronic jacquard, you just insert the floppy into your jacquard, otherwise you still need to punch the cards on the electronic card punching machine.
Since you do not want to enter this information every time you make a jacquard floppy, you can also save it using Files > Save loom layout, so you can load it later, if you want to prepare another design for the same loom.