This versatile float-based weave has lots of different uses. More often used for tea-towels for its ultra-absorbency, and blankets for its warmth-trapping cells, it can also be used effectively for scarves and for texture. Moreover it’s a fun structure!
Using 5 or more shafts works best, as it needs a stitching element as well as the floats, just to keep everything secure. In this scarf, I have used it on lots of shafts because I was using very fine silk warp (120/2), but with a thicker warp thread, you could use it on 5 or more.
The detail above and the wider view on the right show the variegated weft yarn that I used. It was a fine singles cotton. Waffle is stretchy weave structure so you have to weave a much longer piece so you end up with the length you want after you take it from the loom.
This is what this all-over waffle looks like in a draft.
As shown in the draft, you usually weave waffle on a point threading. However, you aren’t restricted by this, as this next piece was woven on a straight entry threading. You can clearly see the stitching element which is part of the appeal of waffle weave.
The warp was again a fine 120/2, but this time, I used a fine cashmere weft for the floats and used the waffle weave in stripes on a 24 shaft straight entry warp. The waffle element was over 12 shafts, and the draft would have looked something like this…..
The fun element in this waffle is that the waffle creates a little shrinkage and puckers the plain weave stripes in between the waffle, so making it soft and spongy but firm which is an unusual texture and a pleasing effect. Having a cashmere blend also helps with the shrinkage element.
One other way I have recently been using waffle is as the back cloth in stitched double cloth, but I’ll talk more about that in another post.
What I enjoy about waffle is that you can create it in non-traditional ways and make it an unusual feature with some amazing insulating properties and textural qualities that no other weave can give you.
Why don’t you have a play with waffle and incorporate it into other weave structures to see what it does? I doubt that you’ll be disappointed with the results! And if you do have a go, do please let us know what you’ve achieved!
Next week, I’ll show you some overshot for texture…. In the meantime, have fun with waffle!