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  1. #1
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    Interesting weaving issue

    Hi all,

    A customer sent me a double-width of custom-woven fabric in the beautiful Lamont Heather tartan to make two kilts. I cut off the piece for the first one, then, a couple weeks later, went back and unfolded the remaining tartan. Here's what I saw:



    This is a big sett with a basic Black Watch undercheck, so it's an ABAC type tartan as shown. I just about had a coronary when I saw the stripe that I've circled above. Clearly there's a mismatch in the sett. I thought, holy schmoly, is that a weaving error?? What if it falls at the top of the other kilt I have to make? After a few minutes of agony, I tumbled to what was going on. See below:



    Because I'd already cut off the piece for the other kilt, it wasn't obvious that the center of the mismatch is actually the center of the double width piece of fabric. Tartan is normally woven with a pivot at the center fold so that the tartan repeats across the fold without a break in the sett, so that there is no mismatch at the fold. In this piece of Lamont Heather, the sett stops and then reverses at the center fold, but not at a pivot in the sett, hence the mismatch.

    I presume that the mill did this in order to place a particular part of the sett at the selvedge (probably to better hide the tuck-in selvedge). As long as someone was going to make kilts from this piece, all would be good, because the center of the tartan at the fold will be cut off anyway. If someone were going to cut a piece width-wise and use it for something other than a kilt, however, the mismatch in the selvedge would actually show in the piece.

    I've only encountered this a couple of times before, and both previous times was with an asymmetric tartan. The mill reversed the sett at the center fold in order to make it possible for a kiltmaker to split 4 yards of double width and make a kilt without a hem. Again, it's fine for kiltmaking, but wouldn't be OK for other applications where the full width needs to have a continuous sett.
    Last edited by Barb T; 29th June 17 at 12:53 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  2. #2
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    Cripes!! I can almost feel the agony you must have felt... That's a smashin' tartan by the way.

    Edit:Can we see the finished kilts when you're done Barb?
    Last edited by English Bloke; 9th August 13 at 12:49 PM.

  3. #3
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    I asked the customer a little more about the tartan, and he sent me a picture of the area in Scotland that he thinks might have inspired the unusual colors in the tartan:



    Here's the first of the two kilts. It's pleated to the green block, and you can see in the second photo that the pleats will flash the white stripe when they open:




    Last edited by Barb T; 29th June 17 at 01:01 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    SNIP
    I've only encountered this a couple of times before, and both previous times was with an asymmetric tartan. The mill reversed the sett at the center fold in order to make it possible for a kiltmaker to split 4 yards of double width and make a kilt without a hem. Again, it's fine for kiltmaking, but wouldn't be OK for other applications where the full width needs to have a continuous sett.
    IF the mill did this to an asymmetrical tartan (I know for a fact Marton Mills does it on their Stewart Hunting for example), when you cut and splice the cloth, you'll have to have half of it with the twill running ///// and the other half with the twill running \\\\\\. That's the problem when trying to 'cheat it' by just doing a mirror image in the middle.

    I do like the kilt you made from that cloth though, Barb. Very nice!
    Last edited by RockyR; 9th August 13 at 01:10 PM.

  5. The Following User Says 'Aye' to RockyR For This Useful Post:


  6. #5
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    Blimey!! You put that kilt together fast

    Nice. Were it me choosing, I'd have probably gone for "to sett" or possibly to stripe but using the black double stripe to ease some of that full-on horizontal across the pleats.

    But that said, it still looks lovely as you've made it and reflects the picture beautifully. I do feel privileged to watch your works in progress. Thanks for posting threads like this.

  7. The Following User Says 'Aye' to English Bloke For This Useful Post:


  8. #6
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    But Rocky, would anyone but a kiltmaker or an astute X-marker notice that? Isn't that what they're banking on when they do it?

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyR View Post
    ..you'll have to have half of it with the twill running ///// and the other half with the twill running \\\\\\.
    As long as all you do is rotate the cut piece, and not flip it over, the twill will run exactly the same way:

    \\\\\\ rotated 180 degrees still looks like \\\\\\ (try it on a piece of paper if you don't believe me!!).

    It's only when you flip it so that the inverse side is up that the twill reverses.
    Last edited by Barb T; 9th August 13 at 01:15 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  10. #8
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    But Rocky's right that this doesn't solve the problem from a kiltmaker's perspective - you have to flip the tartan over to get it to match along its length, and that reverses the twill line. But rotating alone won't reverse the twill line.
    Last edited by Barb T; 9th August 13 at 01:26 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by English Bloke View Post
    Were it me choosing, I'd have probably gone for "to sett" or possibly to stripe but using the black double stripe to ease some of that full-on horizontal across the pleats.
    I always give the customer the choice of pleating, and this is what he preferred! The black double stripe really emphasized the pink, and he preferred the green. Just shows that different people like different things.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    But Rocky's right that this doesn't solve the problem from a kiltmaker's perspective - you have to flip the tartan over to get it to match along its length, and that reverses the twill line. But rotating alone won't reverse the twill line.
    That's what I was getting at. I was speaking specifically to the example of the asymmetrical sett.
    Last edited by RockyR; 11th August 13 at 08:34 AM.

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