Making shaft damask with ArahWeave
In this tutorial, we will make a shaft damask fabric. The weave of the scanned fabric is quite big, but the fabric was nevertheless woven on dobby looms. It consists of two basic weaves: one is warp twill and the other is weft twill. These two twills are arranged in a repeating pattern. The construction of the pattern is quite simple, and using a powerful tool like ArahWeave, you can finish it in 2 minutes. This is where the dual dobby/jacquard nature of ArahWeave shows its strength.
It would take considerable time to draw this weave point by point, even with the help of all the tools for automatically repeating a smaller pattern section. We will pull a few tricks up our sleeves, so you learn something new. We will treat this weave as if it was a jacquard and draw the picture (motif) into which we will replace the colors with the weaves. But instead of using ArahPaint to draw the motif, we will use ArahWeave‘s weave editor, since we can do it faster this way. At the end, we will optimize the number of shafts, and we will have a big dobby weave drawn in no time at all.
First you have to find the repeat and develop the pattern motif. We will later use the motif to replace the two motif colors with the two twills. Each block of the motif represents a repeat of 4 ends and 4 picks. The smallest square in the fabric has a repeat of 8 ends and 8 picks. It will be represented in a motif with a square size of 2 by 2 points. The repeat in the napkin is 288×288. The motif will be 4 times smaller, therefore its size will be 72×72. We will draw it as a weave in the weave editor.
If you find it hard to follow our “mathematical” explanation, just skip ahead and try to understand what we are doing by looking at the pictures. We are not cheating, and there is a logic behind the whole thing 😉
Open ArahWeave. The program initially contains default settings: fabric is always the same, just the colors are random. Let us start with the weave. Choose Weave > Edit. The edit weave window shows a simple plain weave on two shafts. In the Edit weave toolbox click on to delete contents of weave editor. Then select Change > Dimensions. In the Change dimensions dialog box write the dimensions of the weave which you will draw. You can also change dimensions with the mouse if you click on the arrows.
First draw the dobby card on the right side of the weave editor. Use the left mouse button for drawing black points (warp up) in the weave editor, and right mouse button to erase them. You will need just two shafts for the motif. On the top of the weave editor you have to draw the draft. Notice that the draft is equal to the dobby card from the bottom. As you will draw the draft, the card will be automatically copied in the weave.
Open the Jacquard conversion window using Weave > Jacquard conversion from the ArahWeave’s main menu. Choose Image > Get image from weave. The motif (weave), which you have drawn, is now a 72×72 image in the Jacquard conversion window, and it uses two colors. The size of fabric’s repeat is 288×288. ArahWeave‘s jacquard conversion has a very nice property: You can resize the weave image during conversion. And this is exactly what we will do now – we must enter the desired final weave size of 72×4 = 288 for both warp and weft. In the bottom of Jacquard conversion window you have to enter a new weave size or just simply click on x4 (it will multiply the size 72 by 4). You should now load one weave for each color. Click on the first color (black) below the image in the Jacquard conversion window. Then select Chose weaves > Load weaves. A file selection box will pop up. Select a weave from the file list.
Once you click the OK button in the Jacquard conversion window, you will get the jacquard weave. This jacquard weave will be present in the weave editor, and the fabric in the main window will also be recalculated using this weave. Note that there is no big difference between jacquard and dobby weave in ArahWeave. If the weave is on less than 40 shafts, you also see the card and draft in the weave editor, otherwise this information is hidden. This is all the difference. After all, it is just a weave – and in fact many customers will not understand the difference between the dobby and jacquard. The “knowledgeable” among them will know that dobby weaves are small, so maybe we can trick them into thinking that this fabric was woven on a jacquard and get a higher price 😉
Since we do not plan to weave this fabric on a jacquard, go to the weave editor and choose Dobby > Check weave > Optimize the number of shafts. The program will draw the draft with the smallest possible number of shafts. In this case, we only need 8 shafts.
Choose the desired colors from PANTONE Textile Color System®. To open thecolor editor, select Fabric > Colors and using Files > Load Colors choose PANTONE Textile Color System® from the file selection box. In Change > Find color type the color code and press Enter. The color, which you have searched for, will be automatically selected. Now you only need to copy it with the right mouse button to the correct position, indicated by A in the warp, and a in the weft.
Select Fabric > Yarns to set yarn count and twists per meter in the yarn editor. First you must use the mouse to select the yarn which you will edit, for example A, and enter the values, followed by Enter. You can copy the yarn properties to a weft with the right mouse button; color will not be copied.
Now edit warp and weft pattern by selecting Fabric > Thread pattern. It should be pretty obvious what you need to type in.
Now set the density in Fabric > Density. You can easily count the number of ends and picks per centimeter in the sample, if you magnify the scanned fabric. The density is 17 ends/cm and 15.5 picks/cm.
To get a simulation of fabric on a screen, select View > Simulation (8 levels, each next is better, but also slower. You can zoom in or zoom out from the Zoom menu, or by pressing + and – on the keyboard. The current zoom factor is displayed on the top of the main window.
We got pretty close to the original, didn’t we?
An experienced weaver will say: This is all very nice, but how do I put this design in production?
It is true – the weave is too big to be printed out. But ArahWeave has a special weave compression printout function, which detects repeats in the weave and prints a smaller weave with indication of repeats.
If you have a very big printer, and the cost of ink and paper are not important to you, you are of course free to print out the weave at its full size 😉
If you have electronic dobbies on your loom, you do not need to print out the weave at all, since you can transfer the weave directly from ArahWeave to the dobby using a smart card and appropriate reader/writer device. But the weave printout is still useful for documentation purposes. For some customers, we have put their weave “printout” pictures on line on a web server, so their weave database is available to anyone within the company at all times.