Overshot is wonderful for creating texture. The secret is to have all the floats on one side only. Where the floats are not floating, they need to be woven into the fabric. Bonnie Inouye first taught me this during the online workshop Wendy Morris and I did with her a few years ago. Once I got the hang of designing that way, I was really pleased with the results!
Here is an image of one of the samples I did on that workshop.
This image used a heavy wool overshot yarn to give me weft-ways shrinkage. This is a bit on the clunky side for me, and once I had got used to designing for overshot, I worked on a series of samples (about 497 in all!!) exploring the possibilities of using overshot on a cotton warp, a worsted warp and a woollen warp, with 3 different finishing treatments, 17 different ground wefts and 3 different overshot wefts!! I did all that work so you don’t have to!
Whilst I used 24 shafts, this can be done effectively on 8. You could use it on 4 shafts too. You want to keep a plain weave going so you need to use traditional overshot threading of alternating odd and even shafts.
The draft on the left has the floats on the surface and the draft on the right is the reverse side, showing the half-tones.
When you are weaving it, it’s much kinder on your loom and your body to turn the fabric so that you weave with the floats uppermost, and thereby don’t have to lift so many shafts.
The 8 shaft version my first image is using looks like this…
This follows exactly the same principles as shown in the 4 shaft version, but when you have more shafts, you can use different tie-ups to affect how much of the warp you weave and how much you float over.
The following images are from a short scarf I did at the end of the long run of samples. This was on 24 shafts, with a cotton warp of 3/18, and the shrinking overshot yarn is a 2/15 wool. The ground weft was 2/20 Polyester. The sample was washed on the wool wash of my front-loading washing machine and then tumble-dried.
The first image shows an area of a straight progression in the lifting plan, and the second image shows where I have used a pointed progression.
There is so much more I want to explore with this technique, and I hope it’s given you a glimpse into the possibilities….
Next week, we’ll be looking at double cloth techniques for texture, and introducing different structures that can be used specifically for texture.